PORTRAIT OF THE EMPEROR NICOLAS II
By VALENTINE SYEROV
THE RUSSIAN DIARY
OF AN ENGLISHMAN
Petrograd, 1 9 15-19 1 7
ROBERT M. McBRIDE AND COMPANY
Printed in Great Britain
NINETEEN FIFTEEN :
Petrograd : Moscow : The Hermitage Pictures : Fore-
bodings in the Capital : Karsavina : Palace of the Grand
Duke Dmitri : Interview with Sazonov : The Empress's
Hospital : Church at Tsarskoe Selo : M. Stolypin's
Daughters : Visit to Dvinsk : On a Hospital Train : The
Tzesarevich at the Front : Visit to Anglo-Russian
Hospital pp. 11-39
NINETEEN SIXTEEN :
Dinner at the French Embassy : Interview with the
Emperor : The Emperor on Lord Kitchener : Syerov's
Portrait of the Emperor : Cossack Georgian Officers :
Crossing the Caucasus Mountains : Good Friday Cere-
monies : At Kiev : Lady Muriel Paget : American Finan-
ciers in Petrograd : Voyage on the Volga : The Tzesare-
vich in Stavka : Journey to England : At Torneo : At
the Kasan Cathedral : Disappearance of Rasputin :
Grand Duke Dmitri and Rasputin : Concerning Ras-
putin's Death pp. 43-79
NINETEEN SEVENTEEN :
Rasputin at Yusupov Palace : Murder of Rasputin :
Deportation of Dmitri : Influence of Sir George
Buchanan : Harsh Treatment of Culprits : Petition
to the Emperor : Sazonov Ambassador to England :
The British Mission : Street Demonstrations : Firing
on the Crowd : Cossacks Patrolling the Streets :
Sympathy with the Populace : Annihilation of the
Police : The Emperor at Bologoe : Death of Stackel-
berg : The Social Democrats : Situation at Foreign
Office : The New Government : Abdication of the
Emperor : Food Scarcity : Visit to Tsarskoe Selo :
NINETEEN SEVENTEEN continued
The Empress and the Abdication : Soldiers support
the Revolution : The Dowager Empress : Emperor and
Empress arrested : Break-up of the Army : The Ballet
under New Regime : Grand Duchess Vladimir arrested :
Felix Yusupov : Constitution for Russia : Destitution
of the Imperial Family : Burial of Victims : Esthonian
Demonstration : Anarchy among Working Classes :
Grand Duchess Vladimir : Labour Members at Petro-
grad : Lenin the Agent of Germany : At Yalta : Visit
to Dowager Empress : Reminiscences of 1914 : Funeral
of Princess Dolgoruki : Travelling under Guard : In-
ventories of Possessions : Turmoil in Popular Quarter :
Terror of the Cossacks : Fighting in the Nevski Pros-
pekt : Peter-Paul Fortress capitulates : Imperial Family
in Captivity : Kerenski in Winter Palace : At Kislo-
vodsk : Departure of Imperial Family : Count Bencken-
dorff : Princess Irene Yusupov : At Moghilev : Kornilov's
Bodyguard : Kerenski as Dictator : General Kornilov :
Requiem Service for Alexander II : Kornilov and
Kerenski : Failure of Kornilov : Grand Dukes under
Arrest : Republic Proclaimed : Petrograd without
Bread pp. 83-210
I. Petition to the Emperor on behalf of the Grand
Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and the Emperor's Reply
thereto pp. 213-214
II. Memorandum privately circulated on December 31,
1916 pp. 215-217
III. The Police Report of December 30, 1916 pp. 218-222
INDEX pp. 225-228
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
To face p.
PORTRAIT OF THE EMPEROR NICOLAS II. BY
VALENTINE SYEROV Frontispiece
THE EMPRESS AND HER TWO ELDER DAUGHTERS,
OLGA AND TATIANA, AS RED CROSS NURSES 28
THE TZESAREVICH IN COSSACK UNIFORM 36
THE GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR 44
FEODOROVSKI SOBOR, THE EMPEROR'S CHURCH AT
TSARSKOE SELO 48
THE GRAND DUKE DMITRI PAVLOVICH 74
THE EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA 94
PRINCE FELIX YUSUPOV 168
THE IMPERIAL FAMILY 186
THE RUSSIAN DIARY
OF AN ENGLISHMAN
The Imperial Family of
G. D. G. D.
b. 1860 b. 1850
m. 1889 (ist) >
Princess of | ,
e < m. 2na
j ql (morg.)
m. 1911 (morg.)
of von Woulfert)
of Grand Duke
w. Alex Petrovna
Duchess of Oldenburg
~l V" !
G. D. G. D. G. D.
Dmitri Nicolai Peter
ft. 1860 6. 1856 m. and
Com. -in- has issue
m. a princess of Baden
G. D. G. D. G. D.
Nicolai Anastasie Michail
b. 1859 b. 1860 b. 1861
oo. o. D .
fc. 1863 b. 1866
m. and m. 1894
has Grand Duchess
G.D. Six H.H. Prince
Dmitri children i ren e m. 1914 Felix
b. 1891 Alexandrovna Yusupov
Princess of (son of Prince
Russia Felix Yusupov).
b. 1895 b. 1887
THE COUNTESS BETSY SCHUVAIyOV
WHO ADVISED ME TO PUBLISH MY DIARY
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
THE RUSSIAN DIARY OF AN
A the date when this Diary opens the Great
European War had been raging for just
upon a twelvemonth. But for Russia there
were perils within as well as without. Those who had
eyes to see knew that the long-drawn drama of the
Tsardom was swiftly approaching its climax. The
Diarist's notes reflect the shifting moods of hope,
of levity, of doubt, of foreboding, by which in turn
the public mind was swayed, and vividly reveal
the ever-downward course of events towards the
destined abyss of dissolution. The situation, as
he sadly says, is always " going from worse to
worst " ; he sees the whole social fabric already
menaced with annihilation, and he quits Russia at
the moment when the Bolshevik volcano is boiling
up to its fiery finale.
The political system of Russia was once aptly
described as Absolutism tempered by Assassination.
Several of the earlier Romanovs died violent deaths ;
while of the three latest Emperors two have been
murdered, the third escaping a like fate more often
and more narrowly than the world ever knew. The
2 RUSSIAN DIARY
fight between Autocracy and Assassination has been
long and obstinate. From the time of the fourth
Romanov ruler, Peter the Great, down to the very
end of the dynasty a period of two hundred years
Prussian influence dominated the Court and
Government of Petrograd, the absolutist regime in
Russia borrowing its distinctive colour from that
Prussian variety of which Frederick the Great and
his grim father are the typical representatives.
For the last century and a half every Russian
Emperor, without exception, has married a German
wife ; in each generation the spirit of Prussianism
has been reinforced by the introduction of a fresh
German princess to become the spouse of one
Emperor and the parent of another. German
female ambition, soaring higher still, actually
captured supreme power when in 1762 Paul Ill's
widow, a princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, became Auto-
crat of All the Russias as the Empress Catherine II.
To exhibit the bearing on recent events of that
weird episode in Muscovite history as a cherished
tradition and a possible exemplar is to shed light
on some of the most suggestive passages in the
Diary before us.
The ten years anterior to 1915 witnessed an
unceasing struggle for the mastery between the old
Absolutism and various movements for liberalising
the form of government. In 1905 the Russian
hereditary monarchy professed itself " constitu-
tional," but the regime remained in practice largely
autocratic. The Duma of August 1905 was a purely
consultative body to which, however, under a new
law of October, was accorded legislative power ;
an upper House being fashioned out of the old
Council of the Empire. That first Duma was
dissolved in 1906, its successor in 1907 ; the next
lived till 1912, and the fourth proved to be the
last. Throughout this whole period the Emperor's
best advisers were advocating concessions in the
interests alike of the people and of the Throne
itself ; while the Germanophil party, in alliance
with the Empress, offered uncompromising resis-
tance to every measure for limiting autocratic
That the Revolution in its " Red " form was
bound to arrive sooner or later is a highly probable
speculation ; but the immediate cause of the revolt
that overwhelmed the Monarchy was the unbounded
control established by a resolute woman over a
husband whose will, weak by nature, had been
it is said further enfeebled by habits of intem-
perance. It was a deepening of the tragedy that
the Empress, in whose hands the Emperor was as
wax, should in later years have been under the
spell of the monk Rasputin an ignorant, unscrupu-
lous bigot who, perhaps correctly, identified the
temporal prosperity of the Russian Church with
the maintenance of Autocracy.
The sufferings and tragic end of this poor lady
may well stay the pen of hostile criticism, but the
unravelling of the facts about her will do something
to relieve her memory of at least a part of the
obloquy cast upon it.
Whatever the nature and degree of Rasputin's
4 RUSSIAN DIARY
criminality, the popularly accepted legends of the
crafty monk's relations with the credulous Empress
have not been endorsed by the Diarist or any other
competent observer. Her agonising anxiety for the
health of the Tzesarevich rendered her the easier
prey to the impostor's pretensions as a miracle-
worker. That she was a traitor to Russia is an
allegation devoid of proof or probability. Her
attitude was not anti-Entente but anti-Duma. The
key to her whole policy was not pro-German
sympathy, but a consuming determination to set
her son on the throne of his father, with uncurtailed
prerogatives and with herself as Regent that is,
as acting Sovereign. Her ambition was to play the
role of Catherine II, believing that in no other way
could the Throne, unshorn of its absolute power,
be safeguarded for her idolised boy.
Towards the end of 1916 the course cf events
served to crystallise her purpose. Yielding not
only to the urgent representations of the most dis-
tinguished and trustworthy of his own entourage,
but to the earnest counsels of august kinsmen whose
personal experience of constitutional kingship lent
weight to their words, the Emperor Nicolas decided
to grant his people a real Constitution of the
Western type. To effect this object he com-
manded Prince Lvov to get together a Ministry
and to formulate a scheme which should be pro-
claimed on the Emperor's name-day, the Feast of
St. Nicolas, December 6.
The Empress, hypnotised by Rasputin, vas
furious, and at once worked her best and hardest to
defeat her husband's intention. She had already
brought about the removal of the Grand Duke
Nicolas from the supreme military command, and
now as the Diarist shows she compassed the exile
from the Court and the capital of certain members
of the Imperial family whose influence was to be
dreaded as opposed to her own. Her irresistible
power over the Emperor induced him to withdraw
his scheme of Constitutional Reform. In December
Rasputin is said, while in his cups, to have revealed
to the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and Prince
Felix Yusupov the Empress's fixed intention, early
in January 1917^0 launch a coup d'etat to dethrone
the Emperor on the plea of his weak health, and
herself to assume the reins of Government in the
name and on behalf of her son.
The Diarist, in the only authentic record yet
made known, describes the promptitude with which
Rasputin's enemies took action to save the country ;
the " removal " of Rasputin just before Christmas ;
the grief and rage of the Empress, and the arrest
and exile, on her illegal personal order, of the Grand
Duke and Prince an invasion of their immemorial
privilege which aroused the resentment and concern
of the Imperial family. In these Notes the writer
relates how the Emperor, having alienated the
sympathies of his own family, fell more hopelessly
than ever under his wife's control, and how the
very statesmen to whom he had entrusted the
framing and enactment of the new Constitu-
tional Law became convinced at last of the
necessity of demanding their Sovereign's abdica-
6 RUSSIAN DIARY
tion and of constituting themselves a Provisional
The change of regime was carried out on March 12,
the intention of Prince Lvov's Government being
to accept the Grand Duke Michail Alexandrovich
as Regent of the Empire. By May 5 the ruling
junta had been reorganised on a republican basis,
and on August 6 was displaced by a new combina-
tion under Alexander Kerenski. The intimate
personal reminiscences of the Diarist, gathered
during the Kerenski dictatorship, make their own
appeal to readers who are fascinated by the details
of its unhappy combination of pretentious incom-
petence and personal cowardice. After a couple of
months the Kerenski Government on October 8
had to submit to a drastic " reorganisation," and
for a month longer was allowed to play at wielding
power. This flimsy pretence was brushed aside on
November 10, when a Military Revolutionary Com-
mittee set up as the supreme authority the " All
Russian Congress of the Committees of Workers,
Soldiers, and Peasants."
For these developments, however, the Diarist
did not wait, having left Petrograd on September 16.
The Diarist's descriptions of his remarkable inter-
view with the Emperor, reported at the time to
His Majesty's royal relatives in England ; of the
killing of Rasputin, received by the author from
the perpetrator's own lips ; the text of the Petition
on behalf of the Grand Duke Dmitri addressed
by his near relatives to the Emperor, with His
Majesty's reply ; the account given to the Diarist
by the Emperor Alexander's own daughter-in-law of
the circumstances of his end; and the narrative
of the Author's personal experiences during the
Revolution of 1917 are the outstanding features
of a book whose very informality conveys a sense
of freshness and truth which a more conventional
work might fail to produce.
The Diary and Letters of which this book consists are
given in chronological order. The letters D. and
L. in margin signify Diary and Letter. The blank
spaces indicate the Author's absence from Petrograd.
PETROGRAD. Arrived at 11 p.m. Drove to 1915
Hotel de PEurope and was given the same r^j 1 ^' D
room, No. 157, I occupied in March 1914.
At luncheon yesterday at the Embassy met Wednesday,
Colonel C. B. Thomson, our Military Attache from July 2I ' D '
Bucarest, whom I had not seen since the autumn
of 1914 in Paris. Took him to Tsarskoe Selo ;
luncheon with the Grand Duchess Vladimir in a
tent in her garden, where all her meals are served
in the summer. She came back from a regimental
ceremony at the parish church. The crowd was
so great that she could not get her carriage and
the Emperor sent her home.
RAPTI. Arrived 4.30 a.m. by automobile with Sunday,
Polovtsov at his country house,* a large building ^ uly 25 ' D *
in Louis-Quinze style, with terraces of formal
gardens overlooking an immense dark lake com-
pletely encircled by woods to the water's edge.
Full of beautiful things, and its hot-houses and
* Destroyed in the winter of 1917-18.
12 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 PETROGRAD. Dined with Grand Duchess Vladi-
July 26.' D. m i r at Tsars koe. Motored back to Petrograd with
the Ambassador and Lady Georgina.
Wednesday, H.E. and Lady Georgina and Miss Meriel dined
with me on the roof of my hotel. Lovely night,
no wind. My friends the swifts, whistling through
the air, reminded me of their relatives in Venice.
A few aeroplanes.
Thursday, Motored with Princess Orlov * and Countess
Ju y 29. D. jj^lene Potocki t to Strelna, the Orlov house, given
by the Emperor Nicolas I to the family and
arranged in the pseudo-Gothic of that time. Held
up at the railway crossing by a train from Vladi-
vostok of forty wagons, laden with automobiles.
Countess Helene's two sons, whom I had known
since childhood, came over from the Cadet School
of Krasnoe Selo.
Wednesday, To Tsarskoe Selo to visit the Grand Duchess on
^g- 4- D. her f gte ^j ul ^ . 22? Q g ^ s> Mary Mag dalen).
Brought her tuberoses and found her at tea with
several ladies and Sazonov, Minister for Foreign
Affairs, whom I had met at dinner at the Embassy
in 1914. He questioned me at some length about
England and France.
Thursday, Polovtsov motored me and Cunard of the
ug ' 5 ' " Embassy to Peterhof just before 9 p.m., too late
to visit the palace, but the fountains were playing.
Overwhelmed by the transcendent beauty of the
place, the fountains, and the view across the sea.
* Nee Princess Belosselski-Belozerski, m. Prince Vladimir
| Nee Princess Radziwill, m. Count Joseph Potocki.
Strolled through the alleys to " Mon Plaisir,"
built by Peter the Great on the edge of the sea,
where the Empress Catherine II and her two
little grandsons (afterwards Alexander I and
Nicolas I) spent so many happy days. We sat
on the terrace in front and saw the sun set
the sky a blaze of scarlet, crimson, and yellow,
like a Turner ; and the Kronstadt dome silhouetted
against this furious scheme of colour. The moon
rose behind distant Petrograd. A night of
PETERHOF. Riga evacuated the Germans in Sunday,
Warsaw ! Returned last night to Peterhof, and Aug< S ' Dm
this morning was shown over the palace by the
intendant. Met friends later and went over the
palace a second time. In the evening visited all
the fountains separately. Dined at 10.30 and
motored back to Petrograd. A white and silver
H RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 Arrived at Moscow. In the afternoon motored
to Kamenskoe, the Tsar's falconry delightful and
original where Peter the Great retired after the
massacre of the Streltzi.* At the back of the
massive building is a stone throne on a wide
balcony dominating the plain and river below,
where the Tsars sat to w r atch the falcons at
work. It has not been used since the Tsars
became Emperors, 1695, but is being carefully
From there we went to visit Catherine IPs
Gothic palace, begun 1775, but never finished.
Was much struck by a tall birch-tree growing out
of the masonry at the top of the roofless wall.
Then on to tea at Sparrow Hill, and looked down
on the view of Moscow Napoleon saw in 1812.
After dinner drove round the town.
Friday, Moscow. Visited the Kremlin churches yester-
u g- J 3- d aV) and to-day the Treasury and Museum. In
the afternoon to Archangelskoe, 25 versts from
Moscow, the country house of the Yusupovs,
which Felix Yusupov had shown me in 1909.!
The place is all ready for them now and is beauti-
> fully kept, with some fine things, including four
examples of Hubert Robert ; the terraced garden
full of statues and ablaze with flowers. They are
building a church the Kasan Church in small
where the eldest son (killed in a duel) is to be buried.
My hosts, the Olives, were leaving for Charkov ;
* Peter, recalled from England by a conspiracy of the
Streltzi, caused 2000 to be tortured and slain, beheading
many with his own hand.
f Prince Felix Felixovich, Count Sumarokov-Elston.
drove to the station to see them off. Am enjoying 1915
Moscow. I am writing to you from the Olives' Saturday,
house, and when I lift my eyes I look on the Aug< I4 * L '
Kremlin from where I sit. All the bells are ringing.
My friend Madame Olive was the daughter of the
principal Christian sugar-refiner in Russia, who died
lately. She dresses beautifully, has a wonderful
taste in objets d'art, and is most intelligent. Her
husband is A.D.C. to Prince Yusupov, Governor of
Moscow, and father of Felix. Her sister is Princess
Michael Gorchakov. I came with them on Wednes-
day night, and go back to-morrow. The house is
most comfortable, and my bath is as big as the
Caspian Sea. I am waited on by a Cossack, who
makes me repeat my Russian words until I say
All Moscow is making munitions. There is a
large palace with a beautiful garden, built by
Catherine II for Gregoire Orlov, which belongs to
the Emperor and which he will come to live in
if the Tsarskoe has to be abandoned. The Bond
Street of Moscow was nearly burnt down at the
beginning of the war. Many shops in it are still
boarded up. Every German-named shop was
gutted. Whilst the wine-shops were being looted
the police came along and had them closed and
sealed up, leaving in many cases a large number
of the rioters dead drunk inside, who at the end of
the war will be found like brandy-cherries !
News from Poland very bad. Returning last Thursday,
night from dining with the Grand Duchess Vladimir ug * I9 ' D '
Aug. 20. L.
Aug. 22. L.
met Countess Betsy Schuvalov* in the train. Dined
to-day at the Embassy to meet the former French
Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Crupi, and his wife,
and General Hanbury Williams, head of the
English Military Mission at G.H.Q. He is not
very cheerful about the Western Front.
PETROGRAD. Things at the Front are going from
worse to worst. What is to keep the enemy away
from here ? Really the West might help us !
God only knows if you will ever get this, as the
Germans stop nearly every home-bound steamer.
The Embassies will go to Nijni Novgorod, not
Moscow. I shall go to Moscow, as I can stay with
my friends the Olives ; but the danger is that the
German Fleet may come here. No one has ever
known why it didn't come at the beginning of the
it was the great German mistake. How
lucky for you England is an island ! I don't think
the English are half grateful enough for it.
We have been going through here exactly the
same emotions as you and I went through together
last year in Paris and Boulogne. I never thought
such an experience could happen twice in one's life.
We all expect the Germans here sooner or later.
Till Riga falls no one will know whether their
objectif is Petrograd or Moscow ; if Petrograd,
their Fleet could co-operate with them. The major
part of the artillery and munition factories are here.
On the other hand, it is calculated that it would
take them six weeks to get here, and the winter
* Nee Princess Bariatinski, m. Count Paul Petrovich
THE HERMITAGE PICTURES 17
usually begins in about six weeks' time. The snow 1915
that made Napoleon pack up next morning fell on
October 12. Pray God it may be an early winter !
If they do come here, will there be a revolution ?
The fear is the people might rise and make peace
to stop the German advance, feeling that the
Romanovs have had their chance and been found
The Emperor has forbidden the Hermitage
pictures which are his personal property to be
sent away, for fear it should cause a panic. They
wanted to put a hospital in the Hermitage. That
would have given a pretext for packing up, but it
could not be arranged, as there is no water-supply.
So the Emperor has given the Winter Palace
instead. It can hold 1200 beds. The archives
are being packed. The Crown jewels, the small
objets d'art, and all the valuable Imperial plate
from here and Warsaw have gone to Moscow to
The Ambassador is adored here and most highly
thought of. I don't know what would have
happened if there had been a fool or malingerer
in his place. He, Sazonov, and the Emperor
work as one man. I_see_all the interesting people
and constantly dine at Tsarskoe with our dear
Grand Duchess : I telephone and propose myself.
She spoke of you the other day most kindly and
sympathetically. I told her all the news I had of
you. I notice they live entirely on the small
successes and repulses, and have never yet faced
the greater question.
1 8 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 There are but few people in Petrograd, and life
is much the same as in London small coteries of
The Grand Duke Boris has been back from the
Front for a few days : his Hussar regiment is rest-
ing. He gave me heart-rending accounts of the
retreat ; of the Russians burning their own villages ;
of the ripe, unreaped corn ablaze ; and of the
despairing sorrow of the country people poor
things ! He told me how the Russians send aero-
planes into Germany to drop incendiary bombs on
the standing crops, and how the Germans harness
the Russian prisoners to their ploughs and flog
them whether they pull or not.
The Stieglitz Museum * is being stealthily packed
up for removal. It will indeed be a tragedy if the
enemy comes here, with all the factories and
" powderies " and " cannonries." At Riga there
is sixty million pounds' worth of timber, and more
than double that value here.
Monday, During dinner at Tsarskoe much excitement over
Aug. 23. D. re p 0rtec l f a n O f Dardanelles, contradicted later in the
evening by telephone from the Emperor's palace.
On my arrival at Petrograd great crowd outside
the Novoe Vremya office, waiting for verification.
Saturday, From what I can gather, it is likely the Grand
Aug. 28. L. j) u ke Nicolai Nicolaievich may be relieved of the
Command-in-Chief. In that case, would the Em-
peror take over the Supreme Command in person ?
Then Alexeiev, in whom every one has confidence,
might be Chief-of-the-Staff ; Nicolai Nicolaievich
* Baron Stieglitz's School of Design.
FOREBODINGS IN THE CAPITAL 19
would perhaps take command of the Southern 1915
Army, and Russki retain the Northern. The
entire Staff it would seem are to be either
changed or hanged. Poor Emperor, all would now
fall on his shoulders. If he should have no luck,
God only knows what will happen.
The Council of Ministers says the Germans
cannot reach Petrograd this winter, but might be
able to winter at Pskov. What an admission !
Any news that comes to me from the Embassy
and they are most kind consists only of the
official Russian bulletins which appear later in the
Press ; so I have taken other steps to keep myself
If one is more cheerful for the moment, it is not
because things are better, but because human
nature can only stand a certain amount, and then
revolts. It's terrible, the bungling inefficiency of
the Staff. The soldiers are beyond all praise.
Things are not at all quiet here. Munition-
workers on strike and even some passers-by shot.
My poor little cabman was shot by mistake as he
was going down the street. Forty-two killed, and
five minutes after everybody at work !
On Saturday I motored with Polovtsov to Aug. 30. L.
Gatchina to lunch with Madame Derfelden (Serge Marchioness
Zubov's former wife), who has an aunt living in the of Ripon.
palace. We went to see her and found her drinking
tea with raspberry jam in it. She is the Countess
Heyden and a former visitor of yours at Studley.
We went all over the palace and saw the Emperor
Paul's rooms, which are entered by a secret staircase
20 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 and are left exactly as when he lived there, with his
boots all ready to put on. There are wonderful
works of art in Gatchina.
Afterwards we motored to near Pavlovsk to see
an old house. " Pol " motored Madame Derfelden
back to Gatchina, and I took the train to Tsarskoe
for Petrograd. Travelled up with Wolkonsky,
former Secretary of Legation in London.
You positively must come in the summer to see
Peterhof before you die. To me it is the most
entrancing place in the world : I have never seen
anything like it. It has in its way as much charm
as Venice it is fairyland with a soul it is divine.
Yet already the birch-trees have yellow leaves,
though there has been no rain and the weather is
The summer here is like a lovely woman, pale-
faced, with scarlet lips and wild, appealing, black
eyes. Each year she is born perfect you feel that
so divine a creature must live for ever ; and then,
before you can possess yourself of her or even
before you have realized her beauty, her intenseness,
her vivid colouring she is dead in your arms !
It is all too quick.
Sept. i. L. I was at the British Colony Hospital yesterday ;
out of the eighty-two wounded there over forty are
on crutches, shot in the legs during the retreat. A
Cossack was playing his guitar in the garden, and
there were nine legs listening, with eighteen brains !
To my favourites I take presents, and from time to
time give them all cigarettes so that there may be
no jealousy or else 2O-kopek icons of St. George.
I have been much worried with my ear, whicn 1915
has depressed me. I decided to go to a doctor, ep ' 3<
and Karsavina* most kindly accompanied me as
interpreter. We had to wait an hour, and then,
while she held my hand, the doctor shoved things
through my nose ! However, he was most re-
assuring, and I already feel better. It was good
of her, and I am much touched.
Such things have happened ! OnJFriday I. was Sunday,
invited to be at the Vladimir Palace at six, to motor Sept> 5 * L '
down to Tsarskoe with the Grand Duchess Vladimir.
Exactly at six I was there dressed. I found M.
Faberge, the famous Court jeweller, who had been
waiting since half-past five. She who is never
unpunctual only came in at a quarter to seven,
full of apologies and looking very worried, and told
me she had been sitting with the Empress-Mother.
During the hour's drive she spoke not a word.
We sat down to dinner thirty-five minutes late
no Romanov has ever been known to be late for
I was eating my lukewarm potage St.-Germain,
when she said to me, " The Emperor and Empress
have been to-day to the fortress to pray at his
father's tomb." I had met them this afternoon in
the Nevski. Then she added, " The Emperor
leaves to-morrow night to take over the Supreme
Command at the Front. Nicolai Nicolaievich goes
to the Caucasus. Alexeiev is Chief of the Staff.
Russki has the Northern Command. The Empress
* Tamara Platonovna Karsavina, premise danseuse in the
22 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 Marie is desesperee. It is quite disastrous." We
both cried into our soup mine, at least, was
warmed up by my tears. Everybody during dinner
was much depressed by this news.
When I got back I immediately sent all this
information to the Ambassador, thinking he might
not have heard of the change of Command, and
as a matter of fact he hadn't. I think for a newly
arrived foreigner I may feel proud supplying
my Embassy with such news ! The Ambassador
thanked me very much.
Yesterday was glorious. I went to the Admiralty
and walked back by the Winter Palace. At that
moment the Emperor, the Empress, and the dear
little boy motored out of the palace, where there
had been a Council of State, and the little boy was
presented to them all en bloc. Neither the tram
service nor other street traffic is ever stopped for
the Emperor. He takes his chance like all of us ! *
I was lunching on the roof of the hotel with
Karsavina, when in walked the Grand Duke Dmitri
Pavlovich ! Forty-eight hours' leave and found
time to come and see me ! We spent the whole
afternoon together. First I went all over his
palace. He has arranged his own rooms on the
ground floor, and most originally each room in a
different wood. The dining-room is amaranth.
Then we had tea ; we talked about you and other
friends, then we cried, then we went shopping in a
60 h.p. Renaud ; then we pursued any pretty ladies
driving, then in the most divine weather we tore
* This is in contrast with Kerenski's habit ; see Aug. 25, 1917
PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKE DMITRI 23
up and down the quays and over the bridges ;
then he deposited me at the hotel at 6.30. This
morning he fetches me at 10.30 to motor to Tsarskoe,
and this eyening he goes back to the Front.
To Tsarskoe with Grand Duke Dmitri. Visited Sunday,
the Emperor's church. Back to Petrograd in Sept 5 ' Dm
afternoon and left note at Embassy to ask Lady
Georgina if he might dine there ; she telephoned
later inviting him. He fetched me in his motor
and drove me to the Embassy. Left at 10 for
his palace, and saw him off by train at 1 1 p.m.
In the morning to Tsarskoe to the Grand Duchess Monday,
yia^irmr.^ At the door met Princess Orlov, who Septl 6 ' D '
had just been received by the Grand Duchess to
24 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 tell her the startling news of the Emperor's dismissal
of her husband " Vladdy " the truest and most
devoted of all the Emperor's friends. A sinister
influence, long felt, now begins to show itself.
Motored with the Grand Duchess to Oranienbaum,
where I visited all the palaces and the Montague ;
Russe (a snow switchback) used by the Empress |
Elizabeth. At 4 to tea with the Princess of Sa:?fe- I
Altenburg, who showed me over the " Chinese "
Palace, where she lives. Everything Chinese of
that epoch 1750. To Petrograd by train.
Tuesday, In afternoon with Lady Georgina to King George
Sept. 7. D. t k e fifth Hospital, in the Nevski, where she gives
to every outgoing soldier articles of clothing for
himself, wife, and children. Afterwards to Embassy
to pick up Ambassador, and so on to the English;
Colony Hospital, for the same kindly purpose. | j
Wednesday, Luncheon at the Orlovs' ; long conversation with*
Sept. 15. D. vi a ddy," who gave me a letter for the Minister
of the Marine. Afterwards to Countess Carlov,
widow of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz ;
she kindly telephoned to the Minister of War, who
was at a Cabinet Council, to make an appointment
Saturday, Yesterday the Secretary of Minister of War
Sept. 1 8. D. telephoned me to see General Lukomski, the
Minister having gone to the Front. This morning
to Admiralty ; then to General Lukomski at the
War Office. At 6 to the Grand Duchess Vladimir
and with her to Tsarskoe to dine.
Monday, To Warsaw Station for the blessing, by Orthodox
Sept. 20. D. c i er g V) O f tne soup-kitchen for Polish refugees.
INTERVIEW WITH SAZONOV 25
The Ambassador and Lady Georgina with several 1915
of the Embassy Staff were there. This kitchen
has been opened with money collected in England,
and has been entirely run by the ladies of the
English Colony, who work there in relays every
After dinner at the Embassy last night had a Thursday,
long talk with Sazonov,* who promised to telephone Sept * 23 ' Df
to the War Office in the morning. At noon he
telephoned me that the Minister of War would see
me at 2. I went to his official residence on the
Moika Canal, some little distance from the War
Office. His aide-de-camp talks perfect English.
Met in the antechamber Stanley Washburn, the
American correspondent, who entertained me while
we were waiting with amusing stories from the
Front. I explained my business to the Minister,
who took me by the arm and walked me up and
down the room while we talked for twenty-two
minutes. Met Sazonov again at dinner, and was
able to thank him for his great kindness.
Yesterday General Lukomski telephoned for me Saturday,
to come and see him, which I did. With Ambassa- Sept * 25 ' D '
dor and Lady Georgina motored to dine at Tsarskoe,
where I am staying. As I felt seedy last night
the Grand Duchess sent me to bed. Came down
for luncheon all right. At dinner we are always
about twenty, with guests and her Court.
TSARSKOE. In morning to Feodorovski Church. Sunday,
Afternoon drove through Pavlovsk Park. At 5 Sept ' 26 ' Dm
tea with Grand Duchess. At 6.30 to the Church
* Serge Sazonov, Foreign Minister, b. 1881.
Sept. 27. D.
Oct. 2. D.
Oct. 3. D.
for Vespers of the Exaltation of the Cross, the most
impressive ceremony I have ever seen. Afterwards
the Empress, the little boy, and the Grand Duchesses
kissed the Cross. Few people in church only
TSARSKOE. Walked round the lake to see the
bridge, of which there is a copy in Lord Pembroke's
park at Wilton. At tea with Grand Duchess
Vladimir ; Countess Helene Potocki and Princess
Orlov came in. Count and Countess Paul Bencken-
dorff dined. He is Marechal of the Imperial Court
and brother of the Russian Ambassador at the Court
of St. James's. At night to Petrograd by train.
At Warsaw Station joined Lady Georgina in the
" bath train," which she had so cleverly managed
to secure from the station-master. These trains go
down to the Front for the use of the soldiers who
are resting. Each train consists of a number of
carriages fitted with vapour baths and drying-
I washed six refugee children yesterday very
dirty two howled. The washing of the children
is in connection with the maternity home for
Polish refugees organised by the English colony,
with Her Excellency as President, under whose
good guidance they have risen wonderfully to the
Luncheon at the Orlovs' ; dinner at the French
To Tsarskoe and straight to Mita BenckendorfFs
apartments, where I found Prince Michael Putiatin.
He had brought me a ticket for the Emperor's
THE EMPRESS'S HOSPITAL 27
Feodorovski Church that makes me a parishioner, 1915
and entitles me to attend services there. He also
brought me a splendidly printed and illustrated
book descriptive of the church, and a set of new
photographs of the Imperial family. To church
with him ; the Emperor was there. In the middle
of the service the Tzesarevich came running in.
After the Emperor and Empress had kissed the
Cross, the dear little boy did the same, and took
up his usual place near the Emperor's chair to
watch the Cossacks kiss the Cross. While they
were doing so he winked at his friends among the
soldiers. He was greatly surprised at my turning
up in the middle of them.
After the service 1^ left Prince Putiatin at his
house, and went on to luncheon with the Grand
Duchess Vladimir, and sat next Grand Duke Boris,
who, as always, was charming. After luncheon
danced with the little Kyrill Princesses, and
at 2 with Mita to visit the Empress's Officers'
Personally I know nothing against the Empress,
but there is a lot of injurious political intrigue
going on around her. In her hospital I went to
see an officer of eighteen, nephew of Kokovtsov,
former Minister of Finance, who, though badly
wounded, is delightfully gay and full of con-
versation. He sketches cleverly and draws carica-
tures of the nurses and staff all as birds. I
advised him to draw the Empress as one of the
eight-winged seraphim ! His case is one of those
she attends herself, and both she and the two
28 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 elder Grand Duchesses were very busily at work
while I was there.
At the hospital Colonel Schahovskoi, who had
been told off to take me round, said a train of
wounded had just arrived ; we hurried off to the
Pavilion Station the Emperor's private station
and went all through the train, and so back to the
hospital. Amongst the officers was one who had
four St. George's Crosses and had been promoted
from the ranks. Then to the hospital crypt church,
which is arranged in the style of Byzantine churches
* before the sixth century.
Next we visited the Town Hospital for Soldiers,
where I gave away 3000 cigarettes. At each ward
Colonel Schahovskoi called out, " Your English
brother brings you these ! " The soldiers all
shouted together, " Most humbly we thank him,"
at the top of their voices. To one poor man looking
very ill I gave a packet. With beautiful manners he
said, " Thank you," and then turned over and died !
At about 4 we motored to Princess Putiatin's
Hospital for Officers, where the Empress was to
give certificates to the nurses in the chapel. I went
into the gallery. The Empress came with her two
eldest daughters, all three in nurses' costume.
She was amiable and smiling. After going over
the hospital I got back to the Grand Duchess's for
tea at 5 o'clock more dead than alive ! I spent
an hour with her, while she read me a most in-
teresting letter just received from the Duchess of
Coburg. Took the 10 o'clock train to Petrograd
and so to bed by midnight.
THE EMPRESS AND HER TWO ELDER DAUGHTERS,
OLGA AND TATIANA, AS RED CROSS NURSES
CHURCH AT TSARSKOE SELO 29
Yesterday to Warsaw Station to wash more ^ 1915
refugee children. In the afternoon fetched caviare Qct"^.* 3 !).
for Lord Kitchener and took it to the Embassy
to be forwarded. After luncheon at the Embassy
to-day went with H.E. and Lady Georgina to
inspect Strogonov Palace, which has been suggested
for the Anglo-Russian Hospital. Polovtsov took
me over Smolny Institute.
Again to Warsaw Station to wash children. At Saturday,
hotel door a child Cossack wanted to come with
me, so took him. We were photographed by the
English fadre. Left for Tsarskoe, arriving in
time for tea with Grand Duchess Vladimir. Grand
Dukes Kyrill and Boris dined.
TSARSKOE SELO. To the Emperor's church, Sunday,
where he and all his family were at the service. Oct< I0 * D '
The eldest daughter always sits next to him.
The little boy was a sailor to-day ; he only wears
Cossack uniform when papa is at the Front. I was
brought a holy loaf like those given to them.
After the service the Cossacks formed up outside
the church and shouted when they left. Then to
the Empress's Hospital to see my officer friend.
Joseph Potocki came to tea ; the Grand Dukes
Kyrill and Andre dined.
Left Tsarskoe for Petrograd. Luncheon with Monday,
General Hanbury- Williams, who dined with me at
To Tsarskoe Selo to see the wounded officers in Sunday,
the Empress's Hospital. Tea with Grand Duchess Oct * I7 ' D '
Vladimir just back from the Front. She told me
she had received General d'Amade, who fears the
30 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 Germans may occupy Constantinople before we
can ; once there, they could only be got rid of
with great difficulty. She also told me she found
the Emperor who had been to see her quite a
changed man, and with quite a different face.
He now, for the first time in his life, knows every-
thing, and hears the truth direct. Nicolai Nicolaie-
vich never wanted to know anything, and of what
he did know he only told the Emperor so little
that it was hardly worth his hearing. All her three
sons dined. Back in Petrograd in time for ballet
Tuesday, Yesterday luncheon at Sazonov's. This morning
Oct. 19. D. to t k e new ]y[ OS q ue . packed with soldiers for the
Kourban Festival. The Mosque is opposite the
Embassy on the other side of the Neva, close to
the Peter-Paul Fortress. Its blue domes are a
marked feature in any view of Petrograd.
Thursday, Am seeing a great deal of Olga Orlov. Really
Oct. 21. L .k er j louse j s as n j ce as yours, and the moment
I cross the threshold I feel less sad. I dine there
to-night and am sure to pass a pleasant evening.
We are again thrown into suspense by the tremen-
dous attack of the Germans on the Riga Front ;
not that it threatens us as yet in Petrograd, but
it means an appalling loss of life, and very likely
our further retreat and the occupation of the Riga
Rumour says that Sazonov may leave the Foreign
Office. I don't believe it and sincerely hope he
The Empress goes on October 24 to fetch the
M. STOLYPIN'S DAUGHTERS 31
dear little boy from Stavka (G.H.Q.). God forbid 1915
she should take over command of the Army and
send the Emperor home ! He comes back on the
30th. The Grand Duke Paul left with him for the
first time in uniform since his morganatic marriage.
He has been reinstated in his former position in the
Army, and hopes to stay altogether at the Front ;
but I hear now he may return for good with the
Emperor. There is a story about one of the
Alexander Michailovich boys running off to the war.
I don't know if it's true.
You know the two Stolypin girls ; they were
nursing in a lazaret and ran away to the war to
fight wooden foot * and all dressed as boys with
their hair cut off. It took weeks to find them,
but they have been brought home. A little snow
The Grand Duchess Vladimir leaves to-night for
ten days in her ambulance train for Minsk to visit
her flying hospitals and food depots. She has ten
concerns in all along the Fronts. Next Sunday
I shall stay in Petrograd and go to the ballet,
Don Quicbotte. Last Sunday I returned by 10.30
from Tsarskoe, and went for the last hour to The
Sleeping Beauty, with the " Blue Bird " dance we
have so often applauded in London.
Both Empresses have received the Anglo-Russian Sunday,
Hospital Deputation, and yesterday they went to ct * 24 ' L
the inauguration of the Winter Palace Hospital.
The Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich has given his
* On the occasion when Stolypin, the Premier, had his house
blown up, one of his daughters lost her leg.
32 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 palace for the Anglo-Russian Hospital. It is
admirably suited for the purpose, and its position
in the centre of the Nevski, a corner house opposite
the Empress Marie's palace, is such that the man
in the street must see it and know where it is, and
who gave it. It will be ready for the nurses in
Tuesday, Beautiful day on Sunday, so went to Tsarskoe
and found Grand Duchess Vladimir had returned.
Luncheon with her after service at the Emperor's
church. Grand Duke Boris drove me to the
station to-day. Back to Tsarskoe to dine with
Grand Duchess, returning near midnight with
Serge Obolenski* came to see me on Sunday night.
He looks well, a little older and serious. He is an
officer now, and is splendid in his uniform. I told
him all I knew about you and the children. The
war has changed him, as it has all of us. He leaves
to-night for the Front. He asked after nobody in
England but you and your mother [Lady Ripon],
The Emperor came back yesterday ; we are all
very intrigues and worried to know if Sazonov is
going to be sent away. I hope to God not, as it
would not be good either for Russia, England,
I couldn',t go with the Grand Duchess Vladimir
in her ambulance train to Dvinsk. She kindly
asked me, but I should have had to be away five
nights, and I have my affairs to look after. On
her return she settles in Petrograd ; so there will
* Prince Serge Alexandrovich Obolenski.
VISIT TO DVINSK 33
be no more Tsarskoe : I have enjoyed it so much 1915
there and I shall miss going, but it's a cold journey
now. I shall run down to my church on Sunday,
as the Emperor will be there, and the Cossacks yell
when he comes out. I like that.
Yesterday Lydia Kyasht came to luncheon with Sunday,
me at my hotel. To War Office to see General Nov ' 7 ' D '
Lukomski. To-day to Tsarskoe and to church,
where the Emperor was. My wounded officer
friend was there. Luncheon with Grand Duchess
Vladimir. Travelled back with Dmitri Pavlovich
The Grand Duchess telegraphed me to meet her Monday,
last Monday at the Warsaw Station on her return Nov * I5 ' L
from Dvinsk at 8 a.m. General Hartung took me
to the station, and I saw the Grand Duchess and
went over all the train, saw it unpacked, and visited
everything. Then she said, " If you will come
back at 12 with your bag, I will take you with
me to Dvinsk, but tell nobody." General Hartung
motored me back to my hotel, and, having made
my preparations, I returned to the station and hid
myself in the train till it left. She is pestered by
people wanting to go with her.
It was the most divine time being with her.
We ate with the Sisters, the priest, and the doctor,
but had tea in her compartment. We talked of
everybody and everything in the world. She is a
marvellous woman, and always at her best where
there is much to do sparing herself no trouble,
quite thorough, a woman after my heart !
The journey, 503 versts (315 miles), took thirty
34 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 hours. We went beyond Dvinsk to the present
railhead virtually where Russia now ends ! We
were within three miles of the trenches and saw
and heard what I had not experienced for months
cannon and shrapnel all day and night, but no
Zeppelins. From the windows of the train where
it was drawn up we saw silhouetted against the
snow, careering down a long straight avenue, a
battery of artillery galloping up to the Front
most dramatic effect !
It was a weird sight as we went out of the station
with torches to meet the wounded, who were
being brought in by peasants in carts ; there were
only a few motor-ambulances as the roads are
indescribably bad : many of the men were un-
dressed, and the carts were dripping with blood.
It must have been like that in Napoleon's time
the same place and time of year. But once the
poor things were in the train there was every
comfort and luxury.
Some of the sanitaires are from the ballet.
They carried the torches, so you can imagine we
were well lit and led. There were many peritonitis
cases from wounds no disease. All were splen-
didly fit, well fed, clothed, and booted. The
arrangements are wonderful perfect organization,
and the wounded were admirably transferred to
Her train * is No. I out of 300 ; the next five
* The Grand Duchess Vladimir instituted her ambulance
train during the war with Japan. Being the first of its kind,
it stands first on the list.
ON A HOSPITAL TRAIN 35
belong to the Empress and her four daughters. 1915
Hers, I am told, is the best organised of any.
We started off with 492 wounded, but several died
on the way ; twelve of them were officers, of whom
three were Mohammedans. The two trains were
made up of twenty-nine carriages. After every man
had been put in his cot, she went and visited each
one. I luckily had many cigarettes, and made a
few friends whom I have since seen in hospitals.
Mile. Olive, her maid of honour, never went to
bed all night ; she was with those who died, or
who suffered most, or who wanted letters written.
Nearly a hundred received Communion from the
train priest. Nobody murmured or complained,
all most grateful. One boy who came in un-
conscious woke up and thought he was in Heaven !
Those who died went out like watches run-down,
without effort just stopped breathing. It was
intensely sad, though with so much to do I hadn't
time to think until I went to bed ; but one felt
the very best had been done for them each was
We w r ere four nights away, the journey thirty
hours each way : 12 Fahrenheit. The packing
of the wounded into the train was done without
hurry or fuss. The Russians are so kind ; over
all there was a feeling, from the highest to the
humblest, of intense human sympathy for the
A man of 22, shot in the spine, was accompanied
by his beautiful young wife, dressed as a man.
Both had volunteered in the Field Telephone Service.
36 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 She nurses him, and the Grand Duchess has
arranged that she is to live in his hospital.
When we got to Petrograd they were unpacked
by volunteer students, who meet every train.
The Grand Duchess waited till the last one had
left for his hospital no hitch, no flurry, all done
like machinery. She was dead tired (so was I),
but she never left till all had gone (9 p.m.). She
looks very white too white.
The hospitals are crammed in Petrograd. The
fighting near Dvinsk has been terrible, but we are
holding our own all the time, and driving the enemy
back everywhere. Alas, no rifles for the new troops
to support these advances !
We saw enormous guns continually arriving, with
a special railway to take them to the trenches.
All the trains were laden with small cannon and
munitions. On every box was painted " No econo-
my " ; some had " Moscow will send you all you
Really, all my friends have been good to me
and I have seen in the war what few civilians have
seen ; I am very grateful. I shall always remember
Colonel Asser's kindness at Boulogne-sur-Mer.
The Southern Army gave the Emperor the
St. George's Cross, much to the envy of the other
two armies ; his letter of thanks to them is
The little boy, for being under fire, has got
St. George's Medal, which last Sunday he was
fingering all the time through Mass. He and his
father got lost in a fog in the south and couldn't
THE TZESAREVICH AT THE FRONT 37
find their automobile, so they ate with the soldiers, 1915
which the little boy loved. When leaving Stavka
the first time, he said, " I hate going back to
Tsarskoe to be the only man amongst all those
women." The Emperor has carried him off again
to the Front. He got into the train an hour
before its time to start, for fear of being kept back
at the last moment, and was found sitting in his
compartment with his sailor, his balalaika, and
his dog, who hates the firing.
I went with Prince Michael Gorchakov to a
charity ballet for the Russian prisoners in Germany.
Sazonov was in the next box, and during an entr'acte
talked to me about his leaving office. He told me
that he had his successor all ready to take his place,
and that he wouldn't be missed. He has been in
office five years without a day's rest. He wakes up
at 5 every morning ; so do I. I can feel for him,
but I sleep before dinner : he can't. Gossip says
that, when he asked permission to resign, the
Emperor replied, " I would willingly let you go
and rest, but England won't."
Luncheon at the Grand Duchess Vladimir's to Wednesday,
meet all the doctors and Sisters from her ambulance Nov> * 7 ' Dm
I went yesterday with General Knorring to see Wednesday,
a most interesting work. It is where the disabled Nov * * 7 ' L '
soldiers pass the night before leaving for their
homes, receive a complete outfit, and some money
from the State. A committee of ladies gives other
money from a fund for special cases. It is ad-
mirably arranged the most complete order, and
38 RUSSIAN DIARY
1915 done with the heart as all Russian kindness is,
no red tape, no harsh word. There had always
been this State charity existent, but, at the request
of the Grand Duchess Vladimir, the Emperor
allowed her to take it over and develop it on the
larger scale now required ; so now she runs it with
State money, her own money, and money out of
her own organisation fund. Volunteer students
go there each day, so there are no expenses at all,
and each student has his appointed hours and work.
For the Siberians there are sheepskin coats ; there
are boots of every sort and size ; socks, caps,
shirts, fur caps, warm coats, thinner coats, crutches,
sticks. It was very touching so many blind, lame,
and a few idiots. Every day there passes through
a stream of men up to the five hundred who can be
accommodated. It is held in the State factory where
vodka used to be made, now closed. Automobiles
drive them to their different stations, or else they
go in tramcars, free. One has to come to Russia
to see how well things can be managed.
Wednesday, REVAL. Luncheon with Sazonov yesterday, and
ov. 24. D. - n t j ie evenm g came h ere to visit submarines in
harbour. Was shown all over E.i8 and had a
cocktail, Landale doing the honours. After lun-
cheon with Lawrence and other officers, went below
to the ward-room. Lawrence took me after dinner
to visit Girard, the British Consul, and his wife.
Wednesday, To small dinner at the Embassy given for the
ec. i. . Q ranc [ Duress Vladimir. In the evening she did
a jig-saw puzzle, not having played cards since
the war began.
VISIT TO ANGLO-RUSSIAN HOSPITAL 39
Yesterday the Grand Duchess telephoned me to 1915
come to service and luncheon, as she thought D^ d * y ' D.
I would like to meet an archbishop. In the
evening to Le Voleur at Th6atre Michel. To-day,
on my return from Tsarskoe, where the Emperor
and family were at church, but not the little boy,
I went to Anglo-Russian Hospital, which the
Grand Duchess Vladimir was visiting.
Dined last night with Grand Duchess and Grand Sunday,
Duke Andre. Left this morning at 7.30 for Dec< I9 ' D *
CHRISTIANIA. Not too bad a crossing. 1916
As we were nearing Arendal, in Norway, y^ ^'
we nearly ran into a mine. The sudden
veering of the steamer threw us all off our seats.
All along the south coast of Norway, where there
are many currents, loose mines are constantly
being washed up.
TORNEO : the frontier town of the Russian Friday,
Empire. The Customs officials were insisting on
opening my luggage, when I told them that I had
passed out of France into England, out of England
into Norway, out of Norway into Sweden, and out
of Sweden without any examination. I protested
that, as I was carrying a Foreign Office bag, English
and French official papers, and letters from the
Russian Embassy,* I would not allow anything to
be touched now that I was in Russia. The head
official replied, " You are in Finland, not in
Russia ! " On my declaring that I would sit on my
luggage until orders arrived from the Minister for
Foreign Affairs in Petrograd, they climbed down.
A perfect Arctic day. In front of the station, on
* This as a matter of courtesy and not in an official capacity.
The English Foreign Office and War Office gladly seized any
opportunity of direct communication with Russia through
44 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 a detached birch-tree covered with hoar-frost
silhouetted against the faintest blue sky, were
seventeen magpies settling to roost. A symphony
in black and white, until the sky became bright
crimson at sundown.
Sunday, PETROGRAD. Arrived midnight. In the morn-
Jan. 23. D. - n g to Embassy w ith bag and parcels and to Foreign
Office with a book for Sazonov. Then to Grand
Duchess Vladimir's palace to church. My unex-
pected appearance at Mass startled her. After
luncheon sat on, giving her Paris and London news
of her many friends. To ballet after dinner.
Feb. 5. L. I found our Grand Duchess better in health than
when I left, not so white or weary. She says that
nobody, except you, gives her any news of people
in their letters from France. She is always longing
to know what has become of her numerous French
friends, and what they are doing.
Wednesday was the birthday of the Kyrills'
eldest little girl, so there was a cinema and tea and
dancing at our Grand Duchess's. I led a cotillon
such a romp ! I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I hadn't run about so much since the war began.
It was great fun, and the children loved it : I
was so stiff next day I couldn't move.
Yesterday at a children's party at the Kyrills'
the English Ambassador's daughter danced a pas
seul to the admiration of everybody.
The Emperor came back last Monday night. I
shall go to church at Tsarskoe Selo on Sunday just
to see him smile and hear the Cossacks salute him
with a yell !
DINNER AT THE FRENCH EMBASSY 45
Old Prince Gorchakov is rather shaky. He sleeps 1916
on a sofa in his drawing-room surrounded by palm-
trees. The French Embassy has dinners every
week and I dine there again on Wednesday ex-
cellent food and wine, and it is always agreeable.
At the opening of the Anglo-Russian Hospital
the Empress Marie, the Emperor's two daughters,
and our Grand Duchess were there. It's a fine
hospital well arranged.
The days are dark no sun though beginning
to lengthen. You don't know how I miss the sun
after twenty winters in Sicily, and I envy you at
Cannes waking up in the morning and looking down
over the sea bathed in sunshine.
To dinner with Grand Duchess Vladimir and Tuesday,
afterwards went with her to the Imperial Academy
to a lecture " Italian Influence on Russian Archi-
tecture " with splendid illustrations projected on
a screen. During dinner Grand Duke Boris told
me he had given my Memorandum to the Emperor.
To Admiralty at 10, where I was informed the Wednesday,
official approval had already been telegraphed by
the Emperor's command.
Just before dinner the Embassy telephoned
laconically, " The Emperor will receive you at
Tsarskoe at half -past two to-morrow " nothing
else, no instructions as to clothes, etc. Dining the
same evening at the French Embassy, the Grand
Duke Boris said to me, " You must talk to the
Emperor just as you do to me, and tell him every-
thing you know." He had spoken to the Emperor
about me, as also had Sazonov. The French
46 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 Ambassador said, " Ne laissez tomber jamais la
Feb. 13. L. The favour shown me was almost unique. The
Embassy cannot ask for any private person to be
granted an audience. There had not been a similar
case, and they did not know what clothes I ought
to wear. Fortunately, having sent early in the
morning to ask about this, I heard by telephone
that I was to appear in dress clothes.
I left my hotel at 12.40 and took the train for
Tsarskoe Selo, where a Court carriage awaited me
at the station. At the palace I was shown first
into a room in the suite always occupied by the
Grand Duchess Serge on her visits to her sister,
the Empress. Prince Dolgorukov soon came and
fetched me, when, passing through the great gallery,
I found, to my surprise, Mile. Olive waiting for
the Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, who was at
luncheon with the Emperor and Empress.
The Grand Duchess told me at dinner next day
that she had not known I was to be received to-day,
but that during luncheon the Emperor read out
my name from the day's list of audiences.
After Prince Dolgorukov and I had sat with
Mile. Olive for a few minutes she told me not to
linger, as the Emperor always escorted the Grand
Duchess to her automobile, traversing the gallery,
and I ought not to meet him before he had received
So we continued our way to the great drawing-
room at the end of the gallery, where everybody
had to wait before being received by the Emperor.
INTERVIEW WITH THE EMPEROR 47
Three officers were already there waiting to be 1916
decorated with the St. George's Cross. They were
called before me.
After a few minutes I was summoned by an
attendant in the livery of an eighteenth-century
courier, wearing a flat hat with a huge bunch of
red-and-yellow ostrich feathers on the left side.
He conducted me along a corridor to the Emperor's
cabinet de travail. I found him standing near the
door. On receiving me he said, " I am so pleased
you were able to come to-day, as I leave to-night
at 10 for the Front." This put me at my ease.
He said, " I know your face ; I think we must have
met before." I replied, " I think, sir, you may
have seen me at the Feodorovski Sobor [cathedral],
as I have permission to attend Your Majesty's
church." His simplicity wins one's heart.
He said the Empress knew my name. At lun-
cheon -so the Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna also
told me later the Emperor said to her, " Why
don't you receive him after me r " She replied
that she had to go to her hospital. I am glad, as
it might have shortened my time with him.
We crossed the room to his writing-table : in
Russia they are all enormous. The Emperor then
asked me to sit down, and offered me cigarettes. As
I was trying to get my match-box out, he thought
I was taking out my cigarette-case, and said,
" Perhaps you would rather smoke your own ? "
He conversed with me for very nearly an hour,
talking of the Empress Marie whose ill-treatment
by the Germans at the beginning of the war he
48 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 declared he would never forgive and of her unhap-
piness at being unable to see her sister, Queen
Alexandra ; of the Heir Apparent and his health ;
of his accompanying Queen Victoria to visit a near
relative of my own in London. I explained the
object of my visit to Russia, and then we got back
to politics and the war America, Zeppelins, Bel-
gium, munitions, and God knows what !
We talked of Peter the Great ; of Queen Eliza-
beth and John the Terrible, who wanted to marry
her. I recounted the Torneo incident,* and some
of my own war experiences : the exodus from Paris
in August 1914 ; the Battle of the Marne ; my
automobile accident at the evacuation of Ostend,
October 14, 1914 ; my visit to Ypres, November 8,
1914. I related how Lady Ripon, in the King
George the Fifth Hospital, with her wonderful
instinct for organisation, got hold of sixty-six
pianos from friends and acquaintances for the
wounded soldiers' entertainment at Christmas,
returning them all next morning to their lenders.
The Emperor listened with deep interest while I
told him about the Irish Catholic lad lying mortally
wounded in the hospital of Princess Murat at
Chambly in September 1914. Seeing he was sinking
fast, she asked if he had messages to send home.
" None," he answered. A few moments passed ;
then, raising himself slowly in his bed, he said
in a loud, firm voice, " I die for King George and
England ! " and fell back dead.
|! He asked me, " Where are you staying ? I hope
* See Jan. 21, supra.
FEODOROVSKI SOBOR, THE EMPEROR'S CHURCH AT
THE EMPEROR ON LORD KITCHENER 49
you are comfortable ? " I named my hotel, and
he remarked, " I believe there's a newer hotel, but
I can't remember the name." I said the new hotel
was the rendezvous of a not very attractive clientele.
He laughed " Perhaps you are getting old ? " I
rejoined, " No, sir ! It's the ladies that are old ;
I still feel quite young."
Happening to mention that as soon as anybody
arrived in Petrograd from London and Paris he
was beset with friends anxious to hear of the
fashions, gossip, and literature, of the last new plays
at the Paris theatres, and so on, I compared it to
the arrival of a traveller in the days of Catherine
the Second. The Emperor rejoined, " It reminds
me of the time of Ivan the Terrible, when Russia's
only seaport was Archangel, just as it is now."
Alluding to the subject of reputations lost in the
war, the Emperor remarked to me : " One ought
not to judge any person who may be thought to
have failed in his duty or his judgment until the
war is over ; for it might well happen that those
who are now severely criticised will, before the
end, be found to have been right after all."
We talked much of Lord Kitchener, and I related
that it was entirely due to him and to his name
with his countrymen that the colossal volunteer
enlistment had been carried through in England.
When I expressed a hope that Lord Kitchener's
name was known and respected in the Russian
Army the Emperor instantly answered, " I should
think so indeed ! We should all feel it deeply if
he were to leave the War Office." On the spur of
So RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 the moment, and wishing to say what was pleasant,
I answered, " There is no chance of that, sir." He
replied with emphasis, " That's very good news."
Mentioning General Callwell, who had expressed
to me his great devotion to Lord Kitchener, the
Emperor spoke with evident appreciation of him,
telling me he was looking forward to the English
General's return with lots of news " and other
What impressed me most of all was his cri du
cceur, " The most agreeable of all my duties is going
to the Front." He is to be away at the Front for
When the Emperor wished me good-bye he said,
" If you leave without my seeing you again, please
convey to the King and Queen that I am always
thinking of them, and lay all my affectionate love
at their feet."
On leaving I returned with Prince Dolgorukov
and the officer on guard to tea in the Grand Duchess
Elizabeth's apartments, leaving at 4.15 for Petro-
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and am quite
pleased with myself.
I dined with my Grand Duchess and her youngest
son next day, to tell her all about it, and when
they heard I had been there three-quarters of an
hour, that I had sat down all the time, and had
smoked cigarettes with him, they both said, " It
is unheard of ! You don't know what audiences
are ten minutes at the longest, and standing
SYEROV'S PORTRAIT OF THE EMPEROR 51
I send you a post card of Syerov's wonderful 1916
portrait of the Emperor, which has all his charm.
Syerov's picture was hung in the Winter Palace.*
To Prince Gorchakov's at tea-time, where I led Tuesday,
a children's cotillon, and dined at the French Feb> I5 ' D '
Embassy to meet the Grand Duchess Marie Pav-
lovna. A long conversation with Sazonov, who
told me he loved the Emperor.
To the anniversary requiem for the Grand Duke Thursday,
Vladimir at the Fortress of SS. Peter and Paul. Feb ' I7 ' D '
Much touched by the Grand Duchess sending her
equerry to bring me on to her palace. Passed by
English Embassy, where I was already engaged
to luncheon, to explain that I could not come.
At the opera. All the Allies' National Anthems
were sung in honour of the taking of Erzrum.
To see Trepov, Minister of Ways and Communi- Saturday,
cations, who had been commanded by the Emperor 3 eb " I9 ' Dt
to receive me. To ballet, where Fokine's Andalu-
sian Jota, danced by his wife, was given for the
first time. The scenery was remarkable the dance
takes place on a plateau with nothing but the
Sierra Nevada in the far distance.
After dinner with the Grand Duchess Vladimir, Monday,
to a soiree at the Academy, of which she is the e ' 2I ' D '
President. A charming evening, with Karsavina
dancing. Afterwards an auction of prints and
drawings on behalf of the Red Cross.
Having an Embassy ticket for the opening of Tuesday,
Feb. 22. >,
* During the Revolution of 1917 a boy was carrying it
across the Winter Palace square ; he was stopped by Bolshe-
viki, who slashed it in pieces and stamped it into pulp.
52 RUSSIAN DIARY
1910 the Duma, was much disappointed at their asking
for it back at the last moment too late for me to
get another from my Russian friends. In the
afternoon heard that the Duma had been opened
by the Emperor, accompanied by the Grand Duke
Michael. No one knew of this till he arrived there.
Monday, Luncheon at the Embassy with General Sir
Feb. 28. D. Arthur Paget and Lord Pembroke, who had come
to deliver to the Emperor the Field-Marshal's baton
sent him by King George. When the time came
for making the ceremonial presentation, and the
General had begun his speech, it was found that the
baton had been left on the piano in another room,
and had to be hastily fetched.
Saturday, On Sunday last, the twenty-fifth anniversary of
ar ' "' ' Kchessinskaia's entrance to the ballet, she took over
the house and sold all the tickets herself, and gave
the money (3200) to the Red Cross. She danced
the Talisman her great success. Sir Arthur
Paget was in the centre Imperial box, and " God
Save the King " was played, and he bowed all
round. A fine house. Three Grand Dukes in their
Monday, Yesterday went to church at Tsarskoe Selo. The
ar ' I3 ' ' Empress drove away with the second daughter,
and the Emperor with the other three, and the little
boy in a sledge with three horses. They all looked
so happy together.
Tuesday, At 11.30 to the votive church for the anniversary
ar " 14- re q u i ern f or Alexander II. Church crowded with
Government officials and important members of
the Imperial household.
COSSACK GEORGIAN OFFICERS 53
After visits to the Grand Duchess and the 1916
Embassy, left Petrograd in the evening for Tiflis. Mar.Ty. D.
Found Terestchenko in the train : we talked in my
cabin from 4 to 5. Between Baku and Tiflis saw
pelicans and storks fishing in the marshes and
camels working in the fields. Arrived at Tiflis
TIFLIS. General Call well at luncheon at my Wednesday,
hotel just back from the frontier and Batum. He p 5<
came to decorate the Russian General who had
taken Erzrum, but the roads being almost im-
passable the latter had to come to the frontier
to receive his English order.
TIFLIS. Visited the old churches and Armenian Friday,
bazaar. In the afternoon saw the new moon and p 7 *
the first swallows.
TIFLIS. I must own to you that Tiflis has been Sunday,
a disappointment after all I had been told about pn 9 '
it. The hotel life here is delightful some twenty
Cossack Georgian officers, en conge or en convalescence,
all live or eat in the hotel.
Amongst them is the great Tolstoy's youngest
son great fun ! They remind me of the Sicilians,
and run in and out from their meals all the time.
They all have improbable waists, and are hung
with poignards and swords. They are trying to
get up a Georgian cavalry regiment, but the ques-
tion of horses and saddles is difficult. If they do,
I shall join them as invite on June 15 and do
the summer campaign with them : they say I could
be of use in many ways. All Georgians are born
54 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 I went to see Prince Napoleon Murat yesterday.
He was frost-bitten in the knees in Galicia, and
about a month ago he fell down just as he was
getting better, and has been in bed for a month,
but now he is picking up again. I told him all I
could about France : the tears came to his eyes.
He is adored here. He was pleased to hear that
the Emperor had spoken of him.
I wish Trebizond could be taken while I am here,
but the Turks are very strong there and have been
reinforcing since the fall of Erzrum. The food is
excellent in the hotel rice with nearly everything
and black cherry jam ; almond and pistachio tart-
lets, also wine ; so I am all right.
Tuesday, TIFLIS. Would have liked to motor over the
April ii. D. c aucas i an Mountains and take the train at Vladi-
kavkas, but the road is not yet opened and no
automobile has come over from there, so took seats
in train for Petrograd.
Wednesday, TIFLIS. The hotel courier, George whose family
April 12. D. k a( j b een massacrec [ by the Turks near Erzrum
rushed in and said a motor-car had arrived from
Vladikavkas and he had engaged it for me for
Thursday, Left hotel in automobile exactly 6.45 a.m.
April 13. D. Reached t h e summ it 1.20 p.m. (127 versts). Excel-
lent road cut through deeps now on the top. Arrived
at Vladikavkas at 4.
Friday, VLADIKAVKAS. Joined the train at 5 a.m.
April 14. D. wllic}l had left Tiflig tn irty-eight hours before.
Glorious morning ; saw the sun rise over the
CROSSING THE CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS 55
PETROGRAD. Arrived midday.
April 16. D.
I came away from Tiflis by the military road Tuesday,
across the Caucasus Mountains, 8000 feet high. ^PJl 1 18 - L *
5 to Mar-
The road was better than might have been expected, chioness of
as I was in the first automobile to cross this year. Rl P n -
One comes down on the north side through a narrow
defile with a dashing torrent. The chauffeur was
not very attentive to his car, and preferred looking
over the precipices to looking at the turnings in
front of him. I had at last to threaten him with
personal violence. I had paid for the journey before
As we flew down this narrow defile there rose
suddenly in the middle of it a great detached rock
or small hill with a ruined castle on it. It was
there that " Tham'ara " in the Russian ballet lured
her victims. Furtively the chauffeur pointed at it
with one hand, but did not dare to turn round to
say anything, so I leant forward and said, " Schto
takoi ? " (" What is it ? "), and he only said,
" Tham'ara." I looked up quickly, and through a
window could picture the voluptuous almond eyes
of Karsavina as " Tham'ara " looking for another
victim, and beneath the rocks the bleached bones
and nose of dear Mr. Bolm.
There I was, at the foot of the very castle we
had so often sitting in your box at Co vent Garden
admired the interior of, and through its window
gazed on the view of the defile. I fancied I saw one
of her cushions at the window as I flew down the
road seeking safety for my virtue and my bones.
56 RUSSIAN DIARY
i9 l6 I think " Tham'ara " must have lived on trout
and mutton as there is nothing else in the country
and of course on rice, like every good Georgian.
After the war I shall propose to you to come out
and see the castle and Mr. Bolm's skeleton.
When the Russians got to Erzrum there was not
one Christian alive save six girls in the American
Consulate. The guide of the Tiflis Hotel was a
Christian Turk, not Armenian, and his town was a
little to the south of Erzrum. There all the Chris-
tians were also massacred 840, including his old
Tell his lordship I saw in the Caucasus herons,
storks, pelicans, white eagles with black tips to
their wings, many kestrels and buzzards, flamingos,
yellow water-wagtails and dark red woodpeckers,
magpies and jays, heaps of ducks, I think shel-
drakes (but not near enough for me to distinguish),
and one kingfisher.
All the fruit-trees were in blossom in the valleys
at Tiflis peaches, apricots, plums, and cherries.
I dined with the Grand Duchess last night. I
found her well and in good spirits ; we talked
much about you. She declares she never hears
any news when I am away ! The family have been
much exercised where the Emperor will be at
Easter. The Emperor spends Easter at the Front.
Wednesday, Last night, in the street, from a friend in the
April 19. D. g ecret Service, heard of the taking of Trebizond.
Immediately wrote this to the Grand Duchess, who
was at dinner with her three sons ; none of them
Jcnew it. Luncheon to-day with the Grand Duchess,
GOOD FRIDAY CEREMONIES 57
and afterwards saw from the palace windows the 1916
ceremony of the opening of the Neva. The Governor
of the Peter-Paul Fortress stood at the river-side
entrance, where he was first saluted by the State
barge of the town, on which he embarked. He was
then met by the barges of the Admiralty and the
Preobrajenski Guards and escorted to the Winter
Palace. Afterwards I went to Pavlosk to see Prince
Christopher of Greece, who is staying with his
mother, Queen Olga. Fine old English prints in all
Orthodox Good Friday, same day as ours this Good Fri-
year rare. To luncheon off caviare at Polovtsov's. ^ y ' ^ prl
He most kindly took me to the St. Alexander Nevski
Lavra (monastery) to see the Good Friday Proces-
sion from one church to the other. The " Tomb "
which is a flat picture of the dead Christ was
carried by four of the clergy, the Metropolitan
walking underneath the icon, bearing it on his
uplifted hands. At 7 to the Grand Duchess
Vladimir's church, where the three Grand Dukes
carried the " tomb." Afterwards dined maigre with
her and her children.
This afternoon, while watching the crowd out Holy
of the window of my room, suddenly realised that ^u^ 7 'i>
the curtains were on fire. Before I could get help
half the room in flames. My only consolation was
to hear later that the flag was hoisted on the fire-
tower at the end of my street, which dates from
At half-past eleven at night drove to St. Isaac's,
where from my izvoschik saw the Easter procession
58 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 passing round the cathedral. The Peter-Paul For-
tress cannon were firing minute guns. Then to
the Grand Duchess Vladimir's church, where the
Divine Liturgy was not over till one in the morning.
We sat down to supper, forty-two people at three
tables. I was on the Grand Duchess's left. At
a quarter to three the Grand Duke Dmitri drove
Princess Susie Belosselski * and me to the Michael
Gorchakovs, where we stayed till 5.
Easter At noon returned to the Vladimir palace. The
April%' D Grand Duchess presented each of the entire house-
hold over two hundred with an Easter egg, and
afterwards her eldest son, the Grand Duke Kyrill,
gave everybody the Easter kiss, except the old
Lutheran housekeeper. I, with those who had at
different times accompanied Her Imperial Highness
to the Front, was presented with a platinum badge
of her initials entwined round a Red Cross.
Monday, In the morning to the Admiralty. In the after-
April 24. D. noon to a children's party at the Grand Duchess
Vladimir's. Great fun with the children hunting
all over the house for hidden Easter eggs. Back to
dinner there. Grand Duke Boris proposed my
leaving with him on Wednesday for Kiev to see the
Grand Duke Alexander Michailovich, head of the
Wednesday, Left at 5.30 for Kiev. Dined with Grand Duke
Boris in his private car, with Countess Zamoyska
and Grand Duke Sergei Michailovich.
At Gomel Station met General Lukomski, who
* Princess Suzanne Belosselski, nee Whittier, m. Prince
AT KIEV 59
had been so kind and courteous to me at the War 1916
Office which he left at the same time with the
Minister of War, General Polivanov. He was on his
way to take up a command in the South- Western
KIEV. Arrived here 6.15 a.m. Luncheon with Friday,
a lot of officers, and to the ballet with them in the A P ril 28 - D -
evening. Supper and bed at 5 a.m.
KIEV. To write my name on Grand Duke Saturday,
Alexander. Dined with the Ambassador, Lady April 29> D -
Georgina and Miss Meriel, who had just arrived
from a fortnight's stay in the Crimea.
KIEV. To-day is the Tyszkiewicz-Branicka * mar- Sunday,
riage at Bielozervig, two hours from Kiev, to which Apnl 3 ' D '
all Poland was going. The Grand Duke Boris was
sent by the Emperor to represent him. One hun-
dred and thirty-five sat down to breakfast, served
on Louis-Quinze vermeil. The house, where I
stayed in 1909, is crammed with priceless objets
cfart. The Grand Duke Boris sent his A.D.C. to
ask me to dinner in my hotel. We were thirty-two
all wedding guests just returned from the wedding.
KIEV. After luncheon with the Grand Duke Monday,
Boris he drove me to the Grand Duke Alexander's, May *' D '
who was out. He went in and explained my mission
to the A.D.C. We returned to the hotel. Later
Grand Duke Alexander telephoned to me to come,
and I went. He listened most attentively to what
I had to say and then asked me for European news.
He told me he had heard from an American in
Paris, who wrote of nothing but amusements and
* Count Benedict Tyszkiewicz, m. Countess Rose Branicka.
May 5. L.
May 7. D.
May 9. D.
May ii. D
May 15. D
the weather. This selfishness and indifference
PETROGRAD. Arrived Wednesday. Saturday * is
the Empress's name-day, when the whole family
has luncheon at Tsarskoe Selo. Princess Susie
Belosselski's son was married last Sunday in their
beautiful old house on the Christovski Island.
Being a lovely day, everybody was in the garden.
Alone to Peterhof . It's so beautiful like
Hampton Court, with the sea instead of the river,
the woods carpeted with flowers, and no tourists
yet ; the fountains only begin next Sunday.
An attache of our Embassy died quite suddenly,
and we all went to the funeral yesterday ; the
French Ambassador walked with us to the cemetery
in a blazing sun. Greenway was only twenty-three,
a very nice boy.
Snowing deliberately and the roofs quite white.
Luncheon at the Grand Duchess's to-day to meet
Prince Christopher of Greece, who leaves to-morrow.
Afterwards accompanied her to the Academy, where
there was a fine exhibition of English posters.
The Grand Duchess's birthday. Took her a pink
rose-tree. Then to her church for Te Deum. At
luncheon (sixty-two converts) I was the only
foreigner. Grand Duke Paul proposed her health.
In the evening the two demoiselles d'honneur gave
a musical party in their apartments, followed by a
surprise supper and the Grand Duke Boris's
orchestra. Supper at 1.30 ; daylight at 2 ; home
at 3. All very pleasant and gay.
* April 23, O.S., St. George's Day.
LADY MURIEL PAGET 61
Emperor's birthday, and Monday * another holi- 1916
day ! This month, with Sundays, there are eleven May^'. D.
holidays in thirty-one days. This is like the
kingdom of Naples before 1860.
Saw the first basket of cherries and sent them Sunday,
to the Grand Duchess. Every one in love with
Albert Thomas the Grand Duchess says he is
delightful. Back in my burnt-out room, smelling
of paint, but spick and span, with new curtains.
I have made great friends with Lady Muriel Wednesday,
Paget, who has come out about the Anglo-Russian ay 24 '
Hospital. I find her charming, and also efficient.
The Anglo-Russian Hospital was in splendid
isolation and she has already made it more human
and more useful.
I took her to see the Grand Duchess on Sun-
day about the field hospital going to the Front.
The Grand Duke Andre came in, and in a minute
he had telephoned for her to see the General
commanding the Guards Division, to which she
had hoped to be attached ; so now it's all fixed up.
The Grand Duke Andre arranged it all and Lady
Muriel is to leave directly. The Grand Duchess,
who has taken immensely to her, yesterday visited
the hospital and was received by the Ambassador.
She spoke to all the wounded men and afterwards
went with Lady Muriel to her room to talk over
the field hospital.
It is a pleasure to do anything for Lady Muriel ;
she is so quick and grateful.
In the afternoon went to the Cour des Pages Sunday,
May 28. D
* Feast of St. Nicolas, the Emperor's patron.
62 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 for the blessing of the field hospital, and walked
away with General Hanbury - Williams. The
Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna assisted at the
Monday, To Liphart's studio a great portrait painter
May 29. D. w h ere ^ Q ran J Duchess was sitting for her picture,
which is to hang permanently at the Academy.
He told me his son was in the Russian Mission in
London. It was he who was sent from London to
Paris to announce the confirmation of my Admiralty
order telegraphed by the Emperor's command.
Tuesday, Heard under seal of secrecy that O'Beirne was
May 30. D. com j n g ^^ L orc l Kitchener. From England had
also heard of their intended departure, but con-
sidered myself still under the seal. To-night at
dinner I met several friends of O'Beirne, who was
simply worshipped by all classes of society in
Russia during his nine years at the Embassy.
To one of the ladies I said I would tell her fortune
if she would cut the cards. Whatever she cut
I intended to say that a great friend was coming
to see her. She cut " an unmarried man" " a
journey" "an accident" and " death" But I only
said a friend was making a journey to see her ;
nobody guessed who it could be. There was then
in Petrograd no idea of any English Mission
Monday, To the Embassy, to speak to His Excellency
June 5. D. a k out an American loan offered to Russia by the
National City Bank, which had got hung up and
seemed more than likely to fall through. Without
hesitation he said he would do all he could for it.
AMERICAN FINANCES IN PETROGRAD 63
The Bank representatives who had come from
New York wanted him to say a word to Sazonov.
The matter was in the hands of Bark, Minister of
Returned to the hotel to tell the financiers, who
asked if I thought the Ambassador would receive
them before speaking to Sazonov. I immediately
wrote to him and took the letter myself.
To dinner with the Grand Duchess, who broke
to me that her Red Cross train was too full to take
me to the Front, as promised.
Met the Ambassador on the quay. He stopped Tuesday,
me and said he had seen the financiers and agreed J u
with all they said, and had laid the position before
Sazonov, who was going that night to Stavka.
At the hotel dined on the roof with the Americans,
and afterwards went to their apartments to play
bridge. I was playing the hand when I was called
to the telephone from the Embassy. My partner
answered. When I had made " grand slam "
I went to the telephone and was told the appalling
news of the death of Lord Kitchener and everybody
with him on board. My knees gave way beneath
me : I collapsed.
Before going to the Grand Duchess, who had Wednesday,
telephoned me to come to luncheon, looked in at * u e 7 '
the Embassy, but there was no further news.
Afterwards she went to see the Empress Alexandra
at Tsarskoe before leaving at night for the Front.
During the day all Petrograd passed by the
Embassy for any news of O'Beirne.
Decided to spend four days on the Volga to rest.
L. to Sir
June 10. D.
June ii. D.
Great anger here at such valuable lives being risked
with apparently no precautions.
Yesterday Grand Duchess Vladimir talked a great
deal about Lord Kitchener and England. She
charged me to tell you how deeply she felt for you.
I fully realise the immensity of your grief and the
magnitude of your loss.
It is a terrible tragedy for Russia that the great
man was never to get here. He would have been
invaluable to everybody, from the Emperor to the
The recruits of May I have come in and are
settling down. The streets again are full of sections
drilling at various stages ; every drill-hall is over-
flowing. The men are much finer than those of last
October, which is accounted for by twenty-two
months of " No alcohol." I constantly pass before
the barracks of the Pavlovski Guards " snub-
noses " founded by the Emperor Paul, who had
hardly any nose ! Magnificent men, but the tallest
are kept for the Preobrajenski Guards first regi-
ment in the Russian Army. They are now learning
to march with their long stride, to pout out their
chests, and to salute with the chin in the air.
The Russian soldier is a simple, earnest creature,
born to be commanded ; when properly led,
invincible not only because of his great personal
bravery, but because his individuality is merged in
that of his commander.
To Nicolai station for Rebinsk.
REBINSK-ON-THE-VOLGA. At a wayside station
heard the heart-rending cries of a young peasant-
VOYAGE ON THE VOLGA 65
woman seeing off her soldier husband. The uncon- 1 916
trolled cries of the people recall animals separated
from their young. Drove straight to the steamer
office, got my cabin key, and went on board. Up
stream to Yaroslav, which, standing on its white
cliffs, with its classical church embedded in trees,
commands one of the most beautiful reaches of the
NIJNI NOVGOROD. Arrived at 3 p.m. and visited Monday,
the Kremlin and cathedral with its wonderful J une I2 - D -
ancient icons, and left at night. From my cabin
could hear the nightingales singing as we went
along. Bright moonlight.
VOLGA. River really rough with strong head- Tuesday,
wind ; some people ill. Cloudless sky. At every * u
landing-stage children were offering armsful of
lilies of the valley for almost nothing. From a big
monastery on the bank large crowds of Whitsuntide
pilgrims came on board. Arrived Kasan at 6 p.m.
Left steamer and drove to hotel.
KASAN. In the morning visited the Kremlin, Wednesday,
the cathedral, and the monastery from which the J une I4> D '
celebrated icon of the Virgin was taken by Peter
the Great to Petersburg. In the afternoon to see
the Tartar quarter and the mosques. At night
drove to the steamer-pier, three miles over the
plain at the foot of the town, which is covered
with water when the ice melts. Left at mid-
night up stream. " Mother Volga " is too
beautiful for words one of the few things
in my life I have really found better than I
66 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 NIJNI NOVGOROD. A picturesque town of old
e. D. wooden houses amidst gardens on the side of wooded
cliffs. To reach the Moscow station one has to
cross a tributary river by ferry. A sudden tempest
with drenching rain prevented the ferry-boat from
making the opposite pier. It was only after five
" tries " that we managed to get alongside. People
on the boat much alarmed, except a little nine-
year-old girl with long golden hair, whom I sheltered
inside my waterproof ; she laughed at the panic
and the storm. I carried her off the boat and she
Station situated in the quarter where the annual
fair takes place. Busy building going on for the
fair. Wherever train stopped, mushrooms, lilies
of the valley, and nightingales.
Sunday, PETROGRAD. Arrived from Moscow this morning.
June i . . To-night American loan signed.
Friday, Walking down the Nevski I overtook a religious
June 23. D. p rocess i on ' m t h e midst of the trams and traffic.
Who should be out for a walk but the icon of the
Kasan Virgin, who lives in the Kasan Cathedral,
accompanied by her own metropolitan with his
walking-stick. I followed her into her church,
and saw her popped into her frame again. She
has a huge emerald on her chest, and a diamond
No service to-day at the Grand Duchess's church.
She is the head of the Pompiers ; it is their annual
review, so hears Mass with them I go to luncheon.
Tuesday, Sazonov is settled in the big palace at Tsarskoe
June 27. D. or ^ summer> Letter from Buckingham Palace
THE TZESAREVICH IN STAVKA 67
thanking me for the complete series of War Loan 1916
Princess Orlov had luncheon with me at Felicien's.
Afterwards in glorious weather we walked to
Kristovski to see Prince Belosselski, her father, who
showed me his wonderful collection of pictures,
buhl, and objets d'art.
TSARSKOE SELO. Moved here yesterday to pass Sunday,
the summer with the Grand Duchess Vladimir. J uly 2- >'
To the Emperor's church ; the Empress and
daughters were there. The dear little boy is away
at Stavka with the Emperor. His Swiss tutor is
with him, and he does his lessons on the veranda
sometimes ! There is also a good deal of boating,
rowing, and picnics perhaps just a little too
TSARSKOE SELO. Motored with the Grand Friday,
Duchess to Petrograd her weekly visit to her J uly7 *
committees. She received the American financiers,
whom I took to see her. Sazonov dined. He
promised to do all in his power to further a matter
I was interested in. Alluding to Lord Kitchener
he said, " Really England is too careless of her
great men's lives."
TSARSKOE SELO. Drove after luncheon to Wednesday,
Grand Duke Boris, and motored with him to ^ uly I2 *
Terrijoki, in Finland, to stay with General Nostitz.
A lovely dacha (villa) in the midst of pine-trees and
birches, with lawns and flowers down to the sea.
Kronstadt in the distance. Down the avenue
the full moon rose across the sea, whilst we were
dining in the veranda.
68 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 TERRIJOKI. Yesterday we all went for a picnic
D. m boats up the Black River. A miniature Maiden-
head Reach. River full of trout and salmon.
Tea on the bank. To-day motored back to Tsarskoe
with Grand Duke Boris. Passing Petrograd race-
course, went into Imperial box for two races. On
Tsarskoe road stopped for the Grand Duke to
speak to Countess Brassov, wife of Grand Duke
Tuesday, TSARSKOE SELO. In the afternoon motored to
July 18. D. Petrograd w jth the Grand Duchess to the Admiralty
Pier. A steam-launch was waiting to take her
down the river to the harbour of Vassili Ostrov,
where she landed to inspect an enormous tent
made by sailors for one of the thirteen organisations.
On the island are two little houses of the time of
Peter the Great. It was here that he had his galleys
built. We visited two galleys one built in the time
of Catherine II, the other in that of Alexander I.
Friday, TSARSKOE SELO. Due de Luynes, Marquis de
July 21. . j?j ers> on their way to Rumania, and Chambrun
of the French Embassy dined. Prince Nicolas of
Greece arrived at II.
Monday, TSARSKOE SELO. We all went to the Grand
July 24. . j) u k e p au i' s palace for tea in the garden. In the
large drawing-room the two little girls of the
Princess Palei acted a play in blank verse, written
by their brother in French. The piece was delightful
and beautifully acted.
Friday, TSARSKOE SELO. St. Mary Magdalen. At lun-
Aug. 4. D. c ]- ieon f ort y converts. Left afterwards for Petrograd
about passport, so missed meeting Empress and
JOURNEY TO ENGLAND 69
her daughters. Returned for dinner. The Grand 1916
Duchess received me in her cabinet de travail to
wish me bon voyage.
PETROGRAD. Came up last night. Havery, the Saturday,
Embassy Messenger, fetched me 6.30 a.m. Picked J
up the bags at the Embassy and left for England.
TORNEO. Found my Customs friend most civil. Sunday,
He sent everything to the river steamer without 1
examination. Met Bark, Minister of Finance,
with General Waters, just returning from London.
In Finland railway-stations, on paying for one's
luncheon, one is handed knife, fork, napkin, plate,
etc., and eats as much as one likes !
BERGEN. Steamer left half an hour late, because Thursday,
Mrs. Leverton Harris had lost her luggage. Sleep- ug ' I0 ' '
ing on deck after luncheon, before leaving the
fjords for the open sea, was sent for by Captain.
He expected the steamer to be stopped by German
submarines, and said the F.O. bags ought to be
weighted. The ship's carpenter put iron into the
coulisses of the bags and deposited them on deck
handy to throw overboard. Ship stopped sud-
denly in the night. Rushed on deck and found
only a sea-fog. Arrived at Newcastle-on-Tyne.
PETROGRAD [on Ms return from England]. Train Sunday,
arrived punctually. Sept * * 4 * D -
Holy Cross Day. To Tsarskoe Selo to evening Tuesday,
service at Feodorovski Sobor, which so impressed me Sept< 26> D '
last year. The Empress and four daughters were
yo RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 First snow. Last night to British Colony Hos-
Oct. i. D. pital f r excellent performance given before the
Ambassador by English submarine sailors from
Reval ; laughed immoderately.
Thursday, Heard of the death of my old friend, Alexis
Oct. 5. D. Qrlov, in Paris. To Narodnie Dom (People's
Palace) to first performance of a new opera brought
from Moscow. Lovely music, ballet, and mise en
scene ; Russian historic subject.
Grand Duke Boris telephoned from Tsarskoe
that his automobile would fetch me to-morrow
midday. 1 have a petition to give him for the
Wednesday First frost. 24 Fahrenheit. It is quite true
about Serge Obolenski. He marries Princess Baria-
tinski, the youngest morganatic child of the Em-
press Alexander II. She is very beautiful ; all the
mothers of marriageable daughters are furious.
The deaths of Alexis OrlofI and Prince Abamelek
have given us all much to talk about as they were
both very rich. I used to stay with Alexis in Paris.
His mad dog bit me.
Friday, To the Polovtsov's house on the islands for
Oct. 20. D. luncheon^ w here I sat next to the Grand Duchess
Vladimir and took leave of her before starting for
Paris to-morrow. A house of the time of Alexan-
der I -^furniture and objets <Tart of that epoch all
in the best of taste.
Saturday, Havery fetched me at 6.30, and took me to the
Oct. 21. D. stat j on f or p ar i s> General Waters and Captain
MacCaw in train. MacCaw was certainly the best
and neatest travelling companion I have ever had
AT TORNEO 71
the pleasure of finding myself with. He was most 1916
entertaining, with lots of Stavka stories.
TORNEO. River frozen enough to stop naviga- Sunday,
tion but not to bear sledges. No bother with Oct * 22 ' D '
Customs. Etter, brother of the Grand Duchess's
equerry, and head of the committee for the recep-
tion of Russian wounded prisoners from Germany,
took me and MacCaw over the huts, where the
Russians pass the night before leaving for Petro-
grad. Splendidly organised, with chapel, baths,
and dining-rooms. Then to the island in the river
to the German huts. The same excellent organi-
sation. A German prisoner, too ill to be included
in the last two convoys, told me he was most
comfortable and well looked after. At the top of
the church tower is a small window which a king
of Sweden had opened to see the Midnight Sun,
being only fifteen miles from the Arctic Circle.
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE [on return journey to Petro- Sunday,
grad\. After a last fried sole, rumbled in ' a Nov - I9 Dt
tumble-down vehicle down the steep and totally
unlit streets, in a terrific gale, to the wharf, and
got on board at 10 p.m.
Woke up at 6.50 a.m. and found we were still
alongside the wharf. Blowing big guns. At 7.30
we started, and I dressed so as to be ready to go
on deck as soon as we had got out to sea, for on
the Tyne it is forbidden for passengers to go on
72 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 deck. From windows of deck saloon saw we were
following the Christiania weekly mailboat, Bessheim,
on which I had crossed in September. The gale
increased as we approached the sea. Saw the
Bessheim in difficulties outside. She suddenly
turned round and heeled over, her stern being on
the rocks. Big seas broke over her. We returned
up stream and moored alongside another steamer.
We were not allowed on deck all day. Captain
gave me no hopes of leaving before to-morrow
midday at earliest. This entailed my losing my
compartments reserved everywhere for the direct
journey to Petrograd. At 5 o'clock a Customs tug
came alongside. I asked them to telephone the
authorities if I might come ashore. They returned
with the permission at 7 p.m. I left immediately
with them, sliding in pitch-darkness down a rope-
ladder in a Russian fur coat and pot-hat into what
seemed a bottomless gulf. Landed with difficulty
at North Shields pier, took an electric train to
Newcastle, and arrived in London next morning.
Saturday, Re-embarked at Newcastle-on-Tyne, after dinner
ov ' 25 ' ' with my Canadian flying friend Lancelot Duke,
at 10 p.m. for Bergen. Terrible crossing.
Saturday, HAP AR AN DA. Met with the usual and persistent
ec. 2. D. c j v jij tv f r om the Swedish authorities, who, every
time I have passed through, have always been more
Sunday, Arrived Petrograd.
M^d 3 D ^ ca ^ on t ^ ie Ambassador an d Lady Georgina
Dec. 4. ' D. then to the Grand Duchess Vladimir's palace.
Knowing it was a saint's day, found her at service
AT THE KASAN CATHEDRAL 73
where she was much surprised to see me. To 1916
luncheon afterwards. Neva not frozen. Dec/ia. *%'.
Heard on the highest authority from an Allied
Embassy that Germany has made a categorical
offer of peace. This was confirmed later by an
equally eminent authority. The Neva frozen over.
After service at the Grand Duchess's church we Sunday,
were thirty-seven at luncheon. Grand Duke Boris, 3
back from Persia, was there. Dined with the Grand
Duchess, who read me a most pitiful letter just
come from the Queen of Rumania, and afterwards
talked most interestingly of her relations with
Prussia, as a Princess of Mecklenburg. Deep snow ;
first sledges out this evening.
On foot to the Kasan church, where Te Deum Tuesday,
was sung for the Emperor's name-day. All the Dec - *9- D -
Embassies and the official world were present. I
was allowed to enter, being known by the Secret
Police. Hearing of the return of the Grand
Duke Dmitri from the Front, wrote my name on
him. Dined at the Embassy only English people.
Went on to supper at Schubine's, where I found
amongst many friends the Grand Duke Dmitri.
I had not seen him for many months. He called
me aside into another room, where he discussed
with me at great length the whole internal political
situation. Having had knowledge both of my
loyalty and discretion, he confided to me the steps
he thought must be taken to arrest the continued
reactionary policy of the Empress, into which she
was dragging the Emperor ; and how imperative
was the removal of evil counsellors.
74 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 Luncheon with Grand Duke Dmitri to see his
Wednesday, T -, i n r
Dec 20. D apartment, rearranged on the ground floor of
his palace. At midnight returned to supper
Friday, Strange things are happening here : the Emperor
ec - 22 ' has exiled Princess Vassiltchikov, a lady of high
birth, for writing to the Empress ! Are we back
in Peter the Great's reign ? Where will it all end ?
I have been warned of a drama which may soon
happen. But I dare not breathe a word. Even
my frequent visits to Europe might count against
Monday, At luncheon at Donon's, Savinski talked till half-
Dec. 25. D. p ast three on the general unrest which prevails ;
then we walked to the Foreign Office. Christmas
dinner at the Embassy ; charades. I told the
Ambassador of the departure of the Empress for
Wednesday, Moscow. Arrived at 10.20 this morning. Lun-
Dec. 27. D. c j ieon at Madam Olive's, with Princess Susie
Belosselski and her little boy. With them to the
celebrated old convent in which Peter the Great
had his half-sister Sophie shut up, and where the
nuns make a speciality of embroidery. To the
Th6atre des Arts, Tsar Feodor Ivanovich marvel-
lously mounted and beautifully played.
Saturday, PETROGRAD. About 5 p.m. was asleep, when
ec. 30. . g e y mour came . A friend in the police, whom he
met in the street, told him Rasputin had been shot
three times by Felix Yusupov. He did not know
if Rasputin was dead. I telephoned to the Embassy
but Lady Georgina was out. She rang me up at
DISAPPEARANCE OF RASPUTIN 75
5.40 to say she had just heard the report. Mean- 1916
while I had already written to the Grand Duchess
Vladimir. In the hotel the rumour was generally
known by 7.15. To the French theatre, where in
the Imperial box were the Grand Dukes Boris and
Dmitri. A cousin of Felix Yusupov's was there,
but knew nothing. Nobody knows anything defi-
nite. It looks as if the warning I received on
December 19 of a tragic denouement before December
31 had come true.
Glorious weather : 2 Fahrenheit. When I Sunday,
kissed the Grand Duchess Vladimir's hand after
Mass I said, " To-day even the sun is shining," but
she replied, "We are not yet sure of the fact."
We were thirty-four to luncheon ; the three Grand
Dukes, her sons, also. Grand Duke Andre has
just come back from the Front after two months'
Nothing definite known yet ; many stories, but
all ending in the same way that Rasputin had
I left at 1.16 p.m. on foot for the Embassy :
brilliant sunshine, in which the red Embassy was
glowing. I found the Ambassador, Lady Georgina,
Miss Meriel, General Hanbury- Williams, and Colonel
Burn, who had brought the bag. I told them all
I had heard about Rasputin's disappearance. I
also told the General that I had written home ten
days ago that the political situation would end in
a tragic denouement. Whilst we were talking, there
was brought in a copy of the Police Report * with
* See Appendix III,
76 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 the different arrivals, departures, and police calls
at the Yusupov Palace that night.
Every one went away and I sat with Lady
Georgina in the corner drawing-room. Lady Sybil
Grey called ; she said that Felix Yusupov had
been on Saturday afternoon to the Anglo-Russian
Hospital which occupies the first floor of the
Dmitri Palace with the Grand Duke Dmitri, to
have a fish-bone taken out of his throat. This
was the first definite news of Felix Yusupov since
the rumours of the murder. To inquiries at the
Yusupov Palace the answer all day had been that
he had left for the Crimea.
From the Embassy I drove back directly to the
Grand Duchess Vladimir's palace and asked to see
her. I was shown in immediately. She was in
the late Grand Duke Vladimir's cabinet de travail
on the ground floor, where during the war she
always dines and sits after dinner. I told her all
I could remember of the Police Report, and then
she told me the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich
had been put under arrest an unheard-of thing,
for since the murder of the Emperor Paul (1801)
no Grand Duke has ever been put under arrest on
a grave charge, and on that occasion the Emperor
Paul lost his life for only threatening it.
I went back to the Embassy and went straight
up to Lady Georgina without being announced.
She was alone, and I asked whether I might speak
to the Ambassador. She took me to his room and
he saw me at once. I told him of the Grand Duke
Pmitri's arrest and that Felix Yusupov had tele-
GRAND DUKE DMITRI AND RASPUTIN 77
phoned to the Grand Duchess from the Dmitri 1916
Palace, " // y a un malentendu"
His Excellency was much impressed by the news
and began to write his dispatch. I asked him
whether I might take the Police Report to the
Grand Duchess. He said, " Certainly, but bring
it back at once." I then drove back to the Grand
Duchess's palace and went in at once to her room.
She read the document out aloud : nobody was
there but I.
When I again got back to the Embassy I went
straight up to the Ambassador's room and handed
him back the document. He left the room at the
same time as I did, going downstairs with his
dispatch to the Chancery. Going out I met Bruce
in the hall, to whom I announced the Grand Duke's
arrest. The Ambassador, before I left, asked me,
if I heard any more news, to let him know. As I
was dining at the Grand Duchess Vladimir's, who
always retired at 10, I said I would telephone
anything of importance.
Wore my schuba for the first time 5 Fahren-
heit and my clothes were covered with fur.
Whilst I was being brushed in the antechamber
the Grand Duke Boris came in, and we went
together into the cabinet de travail^ where the Grand
Duchess was sitting at her writing-table. We sat
down to dinner at once, as he was going to the
ballet. The Grand Duchess then said, " I tele-
phoned to Dmitri Pavlovich, and a strange voice
first answered me in English ; then he himself spoke
to me. He swore that he knew nothing about the
78 RUSSIAN DIARY
1916 Rasputin affair ; that he had left the supper at 4.
This was in reply to the Grand Duchess having told
him that her sons were outraged at the thought of
his being under arrest. He then said it was the
Empress who had sent a General to put him under
arrest ; that the General apologised for having to
do an act which was not strictly en regie, but he
" hoped the Grand Duke would submit." He also
said that the Emperor was to arrive at Tsarskoe
to-morrow, and declared that he meant to " raise
During dinner we were all petrified by the Grand
Duke Dmitri's denying all knowledge of the affair,
and saying that, although he had been to supper
there, he had left before 4.
When the Grand Duke Boris left to go to the
ballet I went on foot to the Embassy. As it was
early I thought I would go in person instead of
telephoning. There were lights on the Embassy
staircase, so I asked if I could see Lady Georgina,
and was shown up to the Ambassador's bedroom ;
he was just going to undress. I told him of the
Grand Duke Dmitri's absolute denial of any share
in the murder which, after all, is only natural,
though he swore it on his own icon. If all the
conspirators acknowledged their complicity on the
telephone to their friends and relations it might
be disastrous to the actual perpetrator or to the
I found the Ambassador very much perturbed
and tired ; he had been confined to his bedroom
for a week. He walked up and down the room ;
CONCERNING RASPUTIN'S DEATH 79
I sat by the fire. I wished the Ambassador " Good 1916
night " and went and sat with Lady Georgina in her
sitting-room. It was then 10.30. She was called
to the telephone by Mrs. Beringer, wife of the
Reuter correspondent, but he spoke to her. The
only news he gave was that the police of the district
where Rasputin lived had seen an automobile go
to his house about 4 a.m., fetch him and take him
away. This is the first actual news I had heard
of the arrival of Rasputin at the Yusupov Palace,
or rather of his departure to arrive there.
I HAVE got such awful rheumatism in both 1917
arms and both hands I can hardly hold a T^ s ^ ay '
pen. to the
Rasputin was killed in the Yusupov Palace about
7 a.m. Saturday, December 31. There were present
Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, Felix Yusupov, and
a Conservative member of the Duma, and two lady
friends of Rasputin, who left, protesting, at 4 a.m.,
so the man had an agony of three hours. All this
is from the Police Report which I have got. I
happened to be in the very storm-centre. Grand
Duke Dmitri was arrested by order of the Empress
illegally, but he submitted, as it gives him a card
in his hand. The Emperor arrived post-haste last
night from Stavka. I have written minutely in
my diary every detail.
THE TRUE AND AUTHENTIC STORY OF THE MURDER
OF GREGORY RASPUTIN, AS RECOUNTED TO
ME ON JUNE 6, 1917, AT YALTA BY THE
PRINCE FELIX YUSUPOV made the acquaintance
of the notorious Gregory Rasputin because he was
convinced that the removal of this man was abso-
84 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 lutely essential for the safety of Russia. The
scene of the Rasputin tragedy was the Palace
Yusupov, a long building with twenty-six windows
on each floor, overlooking the Moika Canal. The
apartments on the ground floor, which the Prince's
parents had given to him and his wife, had been
in process of redecoration since the beginning of
the war. In the meantime they were using as a
sitting-room the extreme corner room on the
ground floor at the left end of the palace, as seen
from the street ; and beneath it in the basement
had been arranged a dining-room, in which were
placed several Italian sixteenth-century cabinets
and objets d?art of the same period. From the
sitting-room on the ground floor a narrow staircase
leads to the dining-room in the basement. At
the sixth step from the top of the staircase, on
the left, a small door opens into the cobbled fore-
court of the house adjoining. This house also
belongs to the Yusupov family, and its forecourt has
trees planted along a wooden palisade which borders
the Moika Quay overlooking the Moika Canal.
The deed was definitely planned to take place
before Friday, December 29, 1916, because Felix
Yusupov was to leave next day with his two
young brothers-in-law, to join his wife and spend
Christmas in the Crimea with her family. On
the fatal night there was no " supper-party."
Felix Yusupov went himself to fetch Rasputin
who had never before set foot in the Yusupov
Palace and only with great difficulty persuaded
him to come home with him and talk over the
RASPUTIN AT YUSUPOV PALACE 85
political situation. On their arrival the motor-car 1917
drove into the forecourt of the adjoining house.
They entered the palace by the small door and
immediately went down to the dining-room in the
The Grand Duke Dmitri and M. Purishkevich,
a member of the Duma, were at that time in the
sitting-room upstairs on the ground floor, and the
Police Report leaves no doubt that two ladies
were with them, although neither they nor their
friends have ever admitted that any ladies were
present in the palace that night. Neither the
Grand Duke Dmitri nor M. Purishkevich saw
Rasputin while he was within the palace.
Arrived in the dining-room, Felix Yusupov
engaged Rasputin in a long conversation, in the
course of which the latter positively asserted that
the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna intended to
make herself Regent on January 10 (N.S.).
Rasputin, invited to refresh himself, drank a
glass of red wine in which poison had been put.
Felix Yusupov himself drank no wine, being a
total abstainer. The poison having been bought
some three weeks before, its strength had appa-
rently evaporated, and it failed to take immediate
effect. There ensued an interminable wait, during
which the moujik, though he grew drowsy and
dazed, did not die, so Felix Yusupov determined,
as the night was now far advanced, to shoot the
man outright. Accordingly he went upstairs to
the ground floor to borrow Purishkevich's revolver.
Returning to the dining-room below with the
86 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 weapon held behind his back, he approached
Rasputin, who was leaning over the supper-table
half dazed, and, touching him on the shoulder,
said, " On the cabinet at the end of the room there
is a wonderful crucifix." Felix Yusupov was hold-
ing the revolver in his left hand, but having Ras-
putin now on his right side, quickly transferred
the weapon behind his back to his right hand,
and then shot Rasputin at close quarters through
the left side, below the ribs. The moujik reeled
and fell heavily back on a white bearskin, and
Felix Yusupov, believing he was dead, left him
lying there, and went upstairs to join his friends
on the ground floor.
The Police Report makes it evident that this
was the moment when the ladies who had been
entertained in the salon on the ground floor were
persuaded to leave the palace.
Felix Yusupov, after a short interval, in order
to make quite sure that Rasputin was dead,
descended the staircase and again entered the
dining-room. Bending over the body, he was
horrified to find that the eyes were not only wide
open, but gleaming with tiger-like fury. Suddenly
the wounded man raised himself on his elbows
and struggled to his feet ; then, springing with
amazing vitality on Felix Yusupov, seized him by
the throat and tried to strangle him, pulling off
his epaulettes in the melee. Finally disengaging
himself, the wretched man made off by the stair-
case with the instinct of a wounded animal to
escape out of the trap into which he had fallen.
MURDER OF RASPUTIN 87
Finding that the door through which he had 1917
entered the palace was unlocked, he passed out
into the forecourt of the adjoining house, and
then fell down exhausted in the snow.
Meanwhile Felix Yusupov had rushed up the
staircase after him and burst into the sitting-room
to call Purishkevich, who at once came out into
the forecourt and fired four shots at Rasputin,
the number mentioned in the Police Report. Two
of these must have missed their aim, as only two
bullets hit Rasputin, one on the back of the
head, and the other fired point-blank at his
forehead. The lifeless body was picked up and
carried back into the palace to await the return
of the motor-car, in which, on arrival, it was
placed, driven rapidly out to Kristovski Island,
and thrown into a hole in the ice of the Little
Felix Yusupov returned with the Grand Duke
Dmitri to his palace in the Nevski and remained
there, the answer to all subsequent inquiries at
the Yusupov Palace being that he had " left for
At the inquest subsequently held it was authorita-
tively recognised that the shot fired in the dining-
room must have been mortal.
The police have not the right to enter a house
where any member of the Imperial family is
All the Imperial Family are off their heads at
the Grand Duke Dmitri's arrest, for even the
88 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Emperor has not the right to arrest his family.*
It has never been done since Peter the Great had
his son Alexei Petrovich arrested, and it was for
threatening to arrest the Tzesarevich (Alexander I)
that the Emperor Paul was killed.f
Saturday, Here we are all expecting anything may happen.
I won't write you all the gossip, mostly founded on
lies, some on antiquated truths. Dmitri Pavlovich
and Felix are kept under arrest, and when the
Grand Duke Paul asked on Monday last for his
son to be allowed to come and stay in his palace
at Tsarskoe Selo the Emperor replied, " The
Empress cannot allow it for the present " !
The Empress-Mother is still at Kiev ; she ought
to be here, as her son still fears her a little (not
very much). The Allied Embassies would like her
back in Petrograd.
Unluckily the bag goes out this afternoon, and
I shall only have all the news at dinner as it is the
Russian Christmas Eve and I dine ' at the Grand
Duchess's. To-morrow I shall go to the Emperor's
church at Tsarskoe Selo to see how they are all
getting on down there.
I have been to leave a Christmas present for
Dmitri Pavlovich. As I arrived Boris Golitzin was
leaving the house. The old butler had told him
* The only cases of the kind on record are : (i) a distant
relative of the Emperor Alexander II robbed his mother of
her jewels, and (2) another youthful relative ran away with
a ballet-dancer and was brought back from the frontier and
reduced to the ranks.
f The Emperor Paul's tomb in the Peter-Paul Fortress is
. always ablaze with tapers, whilst that of his son, believed by
the people to be cognisant of his murder, has none.
DEPORTATION OF DMITRI 89
Dmitri Pavlovich had gone out, but the house is 1917
guarded and there was a sentry inside the door.
Our Ambassador is very worried. It is real winter
and the thermometer varies between 20 and 35
of frost Fahrenheit. It's dreadful having two Christ-
mases and two New Year's Days. My writing is
unreadable because my arms are so bad, and until
the cold goes I don't expect to get better.
I telegraphed to Prince Putiatin at Tsarskoe to
know whether I could hear Mass at Feodorovski
Sobor to-morrow, Christmas Day, as we who have
the entree to the church have to get special per-
mission for the great feasts.
At 8 to dine with the Grand Duchess. We were
twenty-eight at dinner. I sat on the left of the
Grand Duchess Victoria, just returned from Ru-
mania ; the three Grand Dukes dined ; all the
family looked very disturbed. During dinner the
Grand Duchess Victoria told me that Dmitri
Pavlovich had left for Persia.
After dinner we all went into the ballroom, where
there was a Christmas tree. The Grand Duchess
Marie beckoned me to come to her, and told me
the events of the day. She was very much upset.
She told me that Dmitri Pavlovich had been
deported at 2 a.m. that morning to Kasvin, on
the confines of the Empire the Persian border.
He had only been told at 9.30 p.m., and his carriage
was attached to a 2.30 a.m. train. He left under
arrest. He was accompanied by General Lyman,
his military tutor from childhood, and by an officer
who is responsible for his safe custody. This
90 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 officer was obliged, much against his will, to under-
take the charge. His regiment surfers from the
insult ; the regiment of the Grand Duke wished
also to take active steps, but were counselled to do
nothing for the moment. The Emperor has refused
to see the Grand Duke Paul, his father. His sister
came from Tsarskoe to be with him. She said that
he broke down for a few minutes just before leaving.
Felix Yusupov was sent from the Dmitri Palace,
where he had been under arrest since the murder,
to a country place of his family south-east of
Moscow. Neither of them can be communicated
with either by letter or by telegram, nor can they
communicate with any one. The Grand Duchess,
with her two sons Kyrill and Andre, sat up until
they knew he had left Petrograd.
Her counsels prevailed that nothing should be
done that night. Her other son, Boris, was at his
house in Tsarskoe Selo. They did not telephone to
him, fearing that in his anger he might do something
I heard to-day that the " Unmentionable " was
buried at Tsarskoe Selo ; that the Emperor,
Empress, and Heir Apparent * were at the funeral,
also the Metropolitan Pitirim and Protopopov, the
Minister of Home Affairs ; these two were both
nominees of the dead moujik. He is buried in
the park where a church was to be erected con-
tiguous to one of the Empress's hospitals, and
his body now lies where the altar will eventually
* The Heir Apparent was not present.
INFLUENCE OF SIR GEORGE BUCHANAN 91
I went to see the Grand Duchess at 6. She told t
me that Mme. Derfelden, daughter of Princess Palei, Jan. 7. L.
had been put under arrest.* She had been to
Tsarskoe Selo, to the Christmas tree at the Grand
Duke Paul's. When she got back she found all
her apartments had been searched and the locks
burst. Although, no popular revolution is expected
yet, never has the situation been so bad. In Russia,
after many arrests, assassination usually follows.
Anything may happen.
If only our Ambassador could see the Emperor,
I feel sure he could place before him the real situa-
tion. The Emperor has always listened to Sir
George. Russia is the one country where indi-
viduality counts more than in any other country
I have lived in. There is no doubt our Ambassador
has a position here which no other Ambassador has
ever held, nor anybody else holds at the present
moment. The meeting of the Duma on January 12
will be a crucial moment, but the danger could be
averted if the Emperor would only take the necessary
Had luncheon with the Grand Duchess Vladimir ; Monday,
the Leon Radziwills also there, and Grand Duke J an> '
Boris. I took him all the newest " ragtimes " from
London for his private band. Stayed on to talk
to the Grand Duchess. She said she would like to
dine next Monday at the Embassy, so I went there
to tell His Excellency.
It seems the Grand Duchess Serge wrote to the Thursday,
Empress Alexandra, her sister, to ask her to come J an- "* L '
* For forty-eight hours only.
92 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 to her convent * in Moscow for a month or so to
regain the confidence of the people and to show
them she had no desire to interfere in the Govern-
ment. You may imagine how this proposal was
met ! We are now threatened with a Regency of
the Empire during the Emperor's absence at
Stavka. If the worst has to come and She is
prepared to take all risks better for the poor
country it should come quickly !
As you must know, Dmitri Pavlovich and all the
family are furious at their prerogatives being
touched. No one has the right to enter their
houses, and yet that poor boy's house was, by order
of the Empress, filled with common soldiers.
I think there is no doubt the " Unmentionable "
had an agony of several hours.
The meeting of the Duma is postponed to
January 25. If dissolved they will all go to another
town to meet. Then will come the great tug of
war. It is the Etats Generaux over again. Don't
be surprised at the most startling news any time.
I wonder what and how much the English news-
Thursday, Please forgive this awful scrawl, but rheumatism
in my arms, wrist, and fingers prevent me writing
properly. Last Sunday, Orthodox Christmas Day,
I went to Tsarskoe, to the Emperor's church : all
the family were there, a little worried-looking, after
the events of the week the Emperor very drawn
and white ; he was very still and looked straight
* After the assassination of the Grand Duke Serge in 1905,
his widow became Abbess of the Misericorde Convent.
HARSH TREATMENT OF CULPRITS 93
before him all the time ; only once he turned and 1917
looked into the body of the church, and once, when
the sun had come out, he looked up at the dome.
Once both he and the Grand Duchess Olga, who
always sits next to him, looked down their aisle
for a minute or so. Probably the Heir Apparent
was doing something to attract their attention,
which happens often.
The Empress was all in white and looked conges-
tionnee ; I had never seen her so flushed before.
The Heir Apparent is a beautiful boy and much
grown since I saw him last in the summer. He
drove away with his father and mother.
Dmitri Pavlovich without his A.D.C. was deported Narrative,
Sit 2 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, to the Persian
frontier. News of him has been brought through
by a faithful person. There was nothing to eat
in the carriage, although he had been assured there
would be. His destination was a secret. Even
the engine-drivers, who were changed every two
hundred versts, were only told the next stage they
were to go to. He has arrived, we know, as far
as Baku. His destination is Kasvin.
As for Felix, he was put without food or atten-
dance in a second-class carriage attached to a
goods train, and took a day and a half, instead of
ten hours, to get to Moscow ; his father-in-law,
Grand Duke Alexander, met him there. I feel
Felix is so clever he will get all he wants, whereas
the other boy is always helpless and desolate ; he
had une crise de nerfs, and completely broke down
in the train next day in his famished condition.
94 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Neither the two boys nor their servants were inter-
rogated by the police or military authorities.
They were simply deported.
We all know where the moujik was buried, and
how and when. It is disgraceful. What is really
feared for the Imperial family is that the Empress
may make herself Regent while the Emperor is away
You don't know what it is to live in a country
where lettres de cachet still exist !
Friday, Went to see Guy Colebrooke, and on the stair-
case met the Ambassador, who had just come back
from being received by the Emperor at Tsarskoe.
His Excellency told me the Emperor had received
him standing up in the large drawing-room, where
one usually waits before being received. He was
half an hour with the Emperor, and was able to
tell him everything that he had hoped and in-
tended to tell him.
Though he was looking very tired, I could see
how pleased he was to have got it off his mind
like some one who had confessed and communicated.
When he left, the Emperor shook him warmly by
the hand and thanked him. The nomination of the
new Under-Secretary for Home Affairs is as bad
as it can be, and encouraged the Ambassador to
speak more boldly than he had intended to.
Luncheon at Donon's, where I met Savinski,
ex-Minister at Sofia. He told me that Count
Benckendorff, the Russian Ambassador in London,
was dead. I at once sent a line to the Grand
Duchess Vladimir, in case she had not already
THE EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA
PETITION TO THE EMPEROR 95
heard. Engaged to dinner at the French Embassy, 1917
but later, being asked by the Grand Duchess, I
had to excuse myself to the Ambassador.
During dinner, while the servants were out of
the room, the Grand Duchess told me that she
had had drawn up and signed by all the Imperial
family now in Petrograd a petition * to the Emperor
appealing to the human side of Dmitri Pavlovich's
case. This was handed to the Emperor last night.
At half-past nine I left for the French Embassy.
I had a long talk with Son Excellence, but he told
me nothing that I did not already know. He had
been received by the Emperor last Sunday, and
found him white and drawn and altered, just as I
had remarked in church the same day.
On New Year's Eve at supper at Prince Michail Saturday,
Gorchakov's I was told that the answer to the Im- *' an * I3 '
perial family's petition on behalf of Dmitri Pavlo-
vich had come couched in the hardest terms.*
St. Sauveur assured me the Grand Dukes had
decided not to go to Tsarskoe Selo to-morrow, New
Year's Day, to wish the Emperor a happy New
Year. I doubted his news but, not being absolutely
sure, did not contradict him.
At the Grand Duchess's after church we were Sunday, .
twenty-eight at luncheon ; none of her sons were ^ an ' I4 '
there. The Grand Duchess told me they had gone
to Tsarskoe each in his official capacity to attend
the Emperor's New Year reception. She also told
me that the Grand Duke Nicolai Michailovich had
come to see her the night before to say good-bye,
* See Appendix I.
96 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 having been commanded by the Emperor to retire
to his estate in the South of Russia.
Thursday, Dined with the Grand Duchess. She was most
Jan. 1 8. . interesting, telling me about her early married life
at Court, and about the Emperor Alexander II,
who was devoted to her. He was kindness itself,
although a martinet. She described the Sunday of
his assassination how they were seated at luncheon
in her palace when the wife of the concierge of the
Millionaia entrance flung open the dining-room
door, crying " He's dead ! He's dead ! " Nothing
further could be extracted from her. Presently a
man-servant ran in and said, "The Emperor has
just been driven by dead in his brougham."
The Grand Duke Vladimir immediately left for the
Winter Palace in his carriage, which was always in
readiness for him. The Grand Duchess started off
as soon as her horses could be put to, and on
arriving at the palace followed the blood-stains to
the room where the Emperor had been taken.
She found him lying on a bed still conscious, for
he recognised her. To her horror she saw that the
right foot was hanging by one long sinew.
His kindness of heart cost him his life. When
the first bomb had killed a Cossack of his escort
and damaged the back of his carriage, the Emperor
at once alighted, the coachman, entreating him to
get in again, said he could drive him to the palace.
The Emperor approached the Nihilist and asked,
" What can I do for you ? Why do you want to
take my life ? " The man only hurled another
bomb, which exploded between the Emperor's feet.
SAZONOV AMBASSADOR TO ENGLAND 97
On Friday, January 19, Russian Epiphany, I , I ^7
went to the Emperor's church at Tsarskoe Selo. Jan. 25. L.
Since I was there last, on their Christmas Day, the
whole place is overrun with secret police, which
is something quite new.
There are all sorts of forecasts of the outcome
of the Rasputin tragedy. Though it has been dis-
cussed fully and publicly and even in the Press,
perhaps after all nothing serious will happen. There
are rumours of discontent in the Guards Regiments,
especially the Preobrajenski.
When Pokrovski * went to Tsarskoe about the
vacant London Embassy the Emperor said, " You
have brought a list ? " Pokrovski answered, " I
have brought only one name, sire." The Emperor
said, " I also have only one Sazonov." Pokrovski
said, " That was mine too ! "
I went to the Catholic chapel of the Cour des
Pages to the Requiem for Count BenckendorfL
Our Ambassador, Sazonov, Pokrovski, the family,
and many friends were there.
Sazonov leaves in three weeks for London.
Kyrill Vladimirovich has been sent on a naval
mission to the Far North. Andre Vladimirovich
goes for his health to the Caucasus ; so all the
Grand Dukes are being gradually dispersed, in order
to weaken their opposition. Nicolai Michailovich
on his way to his fate passed by Kiev to see the
Empress Marie, who adores him, but there is no
news of her return.
There is a big dinner at Grand Duchess Vladimir's
* Minister for Foreign Affairs.
98 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 on Friday for the Crown Prince of Rumania, to
which she has just asked me : as there are to be
only young people, I am much touched. To-day
I took Colonel Thomson to luncheon there. He is
our Military Attache in Jassy, a great friend of
mine. The Crown Prince of Rumania and General
Hanbury- Williams were also at luncheon.
Monday, The British Mission arrived this morning. I saw
Jan. 29. L. Q UV Colebrooke downstairs and asked him to lun-
cheon. He came with Thomson, also Princess Susie
Belosselski and Princess Dolly Radziwill, in a private
room at Donon's. Dined at General Nostitz's to
meet the Grand Duke Boris. At 9.30 I left for the
Embassy, where the British Mission were dining
to meet the Ministers. I was the only guest invited
after dinner ; no ladies were asked. Sazonov
introduced me to Bark, Minister of Finance, who
said he knew all about me. I talked to Grand Duke
I shall wait till I come to England to bring my
private papers on the murder. They are all in the
Chancery for safety ; also a copy of the Grand
Duchess's appeal to the Emperor with his answer,*
and my diary. One is never sure what the police
will do !
All the English newspaper telegrams about
Rasputin's murder are incorrect.
Tuesday, The English Mission has been to see the Emperor
Jan. 30. L. _ w j 10 was i n tearing spirits and walked in after
the reception and insisted on being photographed
with them all. The Ambassador told me this.
* See Appendix I.
THE BRITISH MISSION 99
They are all to dine there again on Saturday, which 1917
was not expected. To-morrow, dinner at the
Duncannon came up to my room for a chat.
Sir Henry Wilson is much liked by every one who
meets him here.
I hear the Riga push cost us 95,000 men ; no
artillery to support them, or Red Cross to bring
away the wounded ; they were all frozen as they
As I was leaving the hotel at midnight to go to Saturday,
supper at Princess Dolly Radziwill's,* I met most of
the Mission coming back from dinner with the
Emperor at Tsarskoe. Every one delighted with
The Mission was at the ballet. All the National Sunday,
Anthems were played. I talked for some time to Feb * 4< Dm
Sazonov in his box. He told me he had been
received by the Emperor and Empress. The
Emperor had given him his signed photograph
framed, with the dates of his Ministry inscribed.
Luncheon at the Grand Duchess's, with Boris Wednesday,
Vladimirovich, Sir Henry Wilson, Lords Brooke
and Duncannon, and Captain Valentine, R.F.C.
Sir Henry Wilson left at midnight for the Front
for ten days.
A telephone message from the Grand Duchess Saturday,
asking me to go at 11.30 with her to meet the
exchanged prisoners from Germany. Drove in her
motor to the Viborg station. The train came in
a few minutes after it was all most impressive.
* Princess Dolores, m. Prince Stanislas.
ioo RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 When the Imperial Hymn was sung after the
1e Deum many of the soldiers broke down. They
then had a large meal, at tables laid in the sheds
built to receive the repatriated prisoners.
Monday, Met the Ambassador, who was going to see
Lord Milner just back from Moscow. Walking in
the Millionaia, saw a motor-car surrounded by
mounted police with drawn swords evidently a
prisoner of some importance being conveyed to the
Tuesday, Luncheon at the Grand Duchess's. Guy Cole-
brooke and I got there just before the Am-
bassador, who sat opposite to her. Lords
Milner and Revelstoke, George Clarke, Sir Berkeley
Sheffield ; also Princess Susie Belosselski and
Knorring (diplomat). A charming luncheon ; the
Grand Duchess was at her best.
Wednesday, The Mission is leaving, and now we await calmly
mais avec (Le granges inquietudes the 28th of
February, the opening of the Duma. The trains
to Moscow are stopped for the revictualling of
Petrograd. The little boy at Tsars koe Selo has
been ill with a chill on the kidneys, but is now out
of all danger. Petrograd has been quite gay for
the Mission. The Grand Duchess Vladimir was the
only member of the Imperial family who entertained
them except the Emperor. On separate occasions
she received at luncheon the civil and the military
members of the English Mission, and the French
Mission on another day. She most kindly asked me
to all. I had a most interesting conversation with
General Castelnau after luncheon. Lord Milner
STREET DEMONSTRATIONS 101
made a good impression, and Sir Henry Wilson 1917
cheered us all up.
At 7 I took the train to Tsarskoe Selo to dine D.
with the Grand Duke Boris. We were seventeen
at dinner. He had expected the Englishmen,
but the Mission had left.
Drove with Sazonov from our hotel to luncheon Saturday,
at the Grand Duchess's. She gave him her photo- Mar - 3> D '
graph, signed and framed, to take with him to
London, saying, " I hope, as soon as the war is over
to see it myself on your table at the Embassy."
At 9.10 p.m. drove to the Nicolaiski Station to Sunday,
see the Grand Duchess off ; she was leaving for ar< 4 '
Kislovodsk in the Caucasus. Kyrill Vladimirovich
was there and many of her friends.
Had luncheon alone at Donon's. Terestchenko, Wednesday,
on his way out, sat down at my table. Had not
seen him for nearly a year. Dined at the French
Embassy ; heard there had been disturbances in
the streets to-day and some tram-car windows
Drove to the French Hospital. Just after Friday,
crossing the Nicolai Bridge I met a demonstration ar * 9 '
singing the " Marseillaise." They were prevented
from crossing the bridge, so turned back and went
up the 8th Linea Street. I got out of my sledge,
and telling the man to wait I joined them and went
with them as far as the Bolschoie Prospekt. They
were accompanied by Cossacks. They were not
harassed at all, and the Cossacks chaffed them and
talked to the children : all were on the best of
terms. I wanted to see how they behaved and how
they were treated. Tout etait a V amiable. When
I left them I walked back to my sledge and went on
to the hospital.
At 1.45 I heard a great noise outside the hotel
and saw the Cossacks ride down the Michail Street
and clear the people away, but as soon as the
Cossacks had left the people came back, and a
man addressed a crowd just in front of the hotel.
Shortly afterwards I heard a crash, the breaking of
the windows at Pekar's the cafe at the corner of
the Nevski Prospekt under my hotel. The Cossacks
then rode back down the street and the people ran
away before them. I leaned out of my window
and could see into the Nevski.
I then dressed and went to luncheon at Donon's.
Returning along the Nevski towards my hotel
I talked for a moment to Savinski. The street was
full of the usual people one sees of a Saturday
afternoon on the Nevski. The Cossacks, un-
mounted, were posted by the Moika Canal outside
the Strogonov Palace ; where the Morskaia crosses
the Nevski the patrol was going down to the end
of the Prospekt. Returning up the Nevski I went
on foot to my hotel. It was a beautiful day. The
streets were quite normal and very full. As I
turned down the Michail Street I saw, higher up
the Nevski, a crowd collected at the Sadovia
crossing whether troops or people I could not
make out. Motor-cars and sledges were driving
about ; there were no people off the sidewalk in
the street itself. I went up to my room and added
a postscript to a letter I had written to the Grand
FIRING ON THE CROWD 103
Duchess Vladimir in the Caucasus describing the 1917
situation ; took the letter down to the porter to be
sent by hand to her palace, went upstairs and
immediately began to change my clothes, as 1 was
going to a concert of the Boris Vladimirovich
Orchestra in a hall in the Mochovaia. I had put
on my boots and my trousers when I heard a sound
which I knew, but couldn't recall. I opened my
window wide and realised it was the chatter of a
machine-gun ; then I saw an indescribable sight
all the well-dressed Nevski crowd running for their
lives down the Michail Street, and a stampede of
motor-cars and sledges to escape from the machine-
guns which never stopped firing. I saw a well-
dressed lady run over by an automobile, a sledge
turn over and the driver thrown into the air and
killed. The poorer-looking people crouched against
the walls ; many others, principally men, lay flat
in the snow. Lots of children were trampled on,
and people knocked down by the sledges or by the
rush of the crowd.
It all seemed so unjust. I saw red. I put on a
jacket without tie or collar or greatcoat, rushed to
my third-floor lift, where I was kept waiting some
time. I thought, if I could rally the people, we
could capture the guns. When I got downstairs
I found the hall and doorway crammed. Only
with difficulty could I get out. By now those who
had crouched near the wall had got up and were
running away. The guns had stopped firing.
The street was almost empty ; there was nothing
for me to do, so I returned to the hotel, finished
104 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 dressing, and walked to the concert at the Mochovaia.
All the sledges had gone home. There were only
a dozen people there, who immediately left when
I told them what I had seen. The authorities had
warned the Grand Duke Boris not to go out.
I don't know what provoked the gun-firing, for
the Nevski was quite normal when I went into the
hotel. Whether a demonstration had come dowTi
from the Sadovaia or not I don't know, but the
crowd who rushed down the Michail Street were
mostly well dressed.
There were three machine-guns between the
Trinity Chapel and the Gastinny Dvor, which could
rake Michail Street ; they were placed two in front
and one behind. They were surrounded by soldiers,
so one could not see them from the street. I saw
- them from an upper hotel window.
When I got back to the hotel at 6.50 the
manager told me that, after I had gone out, the
guns had been firing to clear the street, and that
four people had been killed at the corner of the
Nevski. Alma, the housemaid who looks after me
so well, came to my room and said she had been
all the time at a window that overlooked the
Nevski, and when the machine-guns had fired a
second time she had seen a woman and three men
A crowd had come down from the Sadovaia ;
when they arrived outside the Municipal Duma
opposite rny hotel, a man made a speech saying
the people wanted the Emperor to know how much
they were suffering. The police, not the soldiers.
COSSACKS PATROLLING IN STREETS 105
fired, killing three men : the woman was shot at 1917
the corner of the street. The bodies were taken
away either by the police or the soldiers ; one body
was put in a sledge and driven quickly away down
the Nevski. Alma saw all this.
I walked to Donon's to dine with Albert Radzi-
will and Frasso, who had come from Italy on a
cinematograph propaganda mission. Afterwards
we went on foot to see the Joseph Potockis, and
sat there with them, discussing what I had seen
in the afternoon.
All the morning I was writing about the events Sunday,
of yesterday. At 2 I went on foot down the Nevski xr ar
' J Narrative.
to Donon's. At the corner of Michail Street and
Nevski I crossed over to see where the bullets of the
police had hit the wall of the Municipal Duma and
the shops alongside of it. The police had come up
the Nevski from the Kasan Church, and had
drawn themselves up under the windows of the
" Europe," which give on to the Nevski. The
people were unarmed and peaceable citizens.
Going to luncheon I noticed there were no trams
running, but in the Nevski there were a few sledges.
The streets were full, and crowds of Sunday people
walking down the middle of the street. There
were patrols of Cossacks everywhere. The Cossacks
after patrolling would stop at the corners of the
streets, get 'off their horses and talk to the people.
I witnessed no unpleasantness at all.
Donon's very full. The usual Sunday band not
playing. Talked to Princess Dolly Radziwill,
Countess Kreutz, Prince Kudachev, and Prince
106 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Boris Golitzin, who had been having luncheon
together. Countess Kreutz asked me to come to
the ballet that evening. On my way to the Hotel
de 1'Ours in Big Stable Street found a patrol of
cavalry Cossacks drawn across the thoroughfare,
and people being refused permission to pass.
I hugged the wall at the corner and managed to
reach the hotel. On coming out with Madame
Derfelden, nee Scheremetev, I saw the Nevski had
been emptied of people. We heard that the
police had been shooting the people near the Nicolai
station. I proposed to go up the Nevski, but she
hesitated. When she did consent to come, a
single patrol asked us in dialect, not in Russian,
to turn back. He was probably a Mohammedan ;
Mohammedan troops have been brought expressly
So we went back down the Big Stable Street,
across the Imperial Stable Place, and on to the
English Embassy. There were many people about ;
patrols of cavalry everywhere ; no sledges. At
the Embassy I went in, Madame Derfelden pro-
ceeding alone to the French Quay, where she lives.
I found the Ambassador, his wife and daughter
also Guy Colebrooke just arrived from Finland,
where they had been for ten days' rest. As it
turned out, their train was the last on the Finland
line which was allowed by the police or the people
to come into Petrograd.
On the way back to my hotel I had to pass in
front of the barracks of the Pavlovski Guards
Regiment. There was much ferment amongst the
SYMPATHY WITH THE POPULACE 107
soldiers at the gates, and a great deal of very 1917
animated conversation. The men who had been
out on leave during the day were now coming back
for the night. Some of their officers were urging
them to go quietly into their barracks. Later the
police came to the Colonel, and asked to be allowed
to wear uniforms of his regiment. The soldiers,
hearing he had consented, killed him. This was
the first Guards Regiment in Petrograd that
mutinied. The different Guards Regiments in
Petrograd were composed mostly of reservists
married men of between thirty and forty, and
a few boys.
Guy Colebrooke told me he was going to the
ballet, so we arranged to dine at the " Ours." As
there were no sledges we walked to the Marienski
Theatre ; the house quite deserted. From there
Countess Kreutz drove us in her automobile to the
Leon Radzi wills' dance. The Grand Duke Boris
I had words with Boris Golitzin about the police
shooting the people who, quite quietly, were asking
for bread. He sneered, " You were very much
upset yesterday at seeing a few people killed in the
street. To-morrow you will see thousands ! "
I replied, " It's damned hard lines asking for bread
and only getting a bullet ! "
Leon Radziwill * very kindly sent me home in his
automobile at 4 a.m. The Nevski, as well as the
other streets that radiate from the Admiralty,
was being swept by searchlights from the Admiralty
* Prince L6on, fourth son of Prince George.
108 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Tower ; occasional bullets whistled up and down
Monday, Fine weather. No street traffic or trams running.
As I walked from the hotel to have luncheon at
Madame Derfelden's, I passed in front of the
Engineer Palace, in which the Emperor Paul was
assassinated in 1801, crossed the Fontanka Canal,
and went down to the French Quay, where she lives.
During luncheon we heard incessant firing all round
the house. On leaving I walked as far as the
Liteiny Prospekt, which is always the storm-centre
of every agitation in Petrograd. There was a
good deal of desultory firing. I returned along
the quay to the English Embassy, catching up
At the Embassy I heard that the Olives who
live opposite the Tauride Garden, where the Palace
of the Duma is situated expecting friends for
luncheon, had telephoned to say they were quite
cut off, and hoped nobody would risk the journey.
That immediately excited me to go, so I started off
along the French Quay. I had just got to the
Liteiny, and was in the act of crossing the street,
when machine-guns began to fire, so I lay down in
the snow, and a fat woman of the people lay across
my legs till the machine-guns had finished firing.
With difficulty was I able to extract myself from
the snow and the old lady. Plato defined bravery
as the knowledge of what one ought and ought
not to fear. I then bolted across the street and
continued my way to the Olives'. Along the
Schpalernaia Street the first troops were coming
ANNIHILATION OF THE POLICE 109
back from having sworn allegiance to the Pro- 1917
I wanted to get news of the British Red Cross
Depot, over which the Ambassadress presides,
and found it had not been looted shutters up and
everything in order. After that I made my way
up the quays because the crowd was threatening ;
and, having seen a boy officer killed because he
would not surrender his sword, I avoided the broad
streets that run towards the Duma, as they were
continuously being swept by machine-gun fire.
Walking along the edge of the river I witnessed a
fierce battle going on across the Neva on the
In my faltering Russian I asked a non-com-
missioned officer who was walking in the deep snow
whether I was to go straight on or turn to the
right for the Potemkinskaia. He replied in Russian,
" Straight on." A few minutes after, to my utter
astonishment, he said in purest English, " This is
the hell of a mess ! " He then told me that his
mother was English, and we continued walking
together until he left me at the Olives' house.
On our way we looked in at the Duma to see
the troops " swearing allegiance " before they
marched off to patrol the streets against the
police, though by this time there were no police
in the streets they had either been killed or
taken prisoners, or were in hiding. All day
there was unceasing firing of rifles and machine-
[Part of narrative of this day lost.]
no RUSSIAN DIARY
Glorious weather. On foot to the Embassy, and
Man 13.' D. along the quay to see if anything had happened to
the Vladimir Palace. Found everything all right.
On to the Hotel Astoria, which had been completely
This morning between 9 and 10, as an orderly
demonstration was passing by the Hotel Astoria,
a shot was fired from one of the upper windows of
the hotel. The crowd immediately opened fire on
the hotel, stormed the entrance, and swarmed
all over the building on every floor. None of the
women were molested, but several officers were
killed and the whole of the ground floor was
completely wrecked. Several of my acquaintances
who were stopping there were given shelter at the
Italian Embassy on the opposite side of Isaac's
Place. From there I went on to Potsdam Street to
see General Freedericksz's house, looted and set on
fire by the mob this morning. It was completely
burnt out, only the outside walls remaining. Even
their collie dog was bayoneted in the hind quarters.
Countess Freedericksz only got away just in time.
Returned to Embassy. Great excitement fighting
in all the streets. Everywhere rifle and machine-
gun firing, especially on the other side of the Neva.
Left the Embassy later with Locker-Lampson
in one of his cars. He dropped me at the Fontanka.
On leaving me the car was shot through.
Walked back to the hotel, keeping close to the
houses for fear of being shot. So to bed and had
just gone to sleep when the new military police
came and made me get out of bed while they
THE EMPEROR AT BOLOGOE in
searched my rooms for hidden firearms. Interludes 1917
of rifle and machine-gun firing all night.
Zero Fahrenheit snowed all day. I heard no Wednesday,
firing before 8.;o. Streets quiet, but many soldiers ^ ar> I4 '
J _ T7 , T ^ J Narrative.
walking about. When I went out at 10.50,
Edelson, of the Anglo-Russian Bank, overtook me
and told me he had been distributing bread to the
people and that the Emperor had arrived at
Tsarskoe Selo. I walked with him as far as his
bank. A Siberian regiment was marching up the
Nevski ; they had been met at the station by
the Petrograd troops and were on their way to the
Duma now the seat of the Provisional Government.
I looked in at the Votive Church for the Emperor
Alexander IPs requiem. Only I and a few moujiks
were present ; last year all the Court was there.
At the Hotel de 1'Ours I heard that the Emperor
in his train had been stopped at Bologoe, which is
six hours by fast train from Petrograd ; also that
he had been to Moscow from Moghilev ; but this
I doubt. Most likely, instead of taking the direct
route from Moghilev to Petrograd, the train went
across country and joined the Moscow line at
From the Ours I walked down the street on to
the quays and so to the Embassy. From Lady
Georgina's boudoir on the entresol we saw quantities
of troops crossing the Troitza Bridge, who turned
along the quay in front of the Embassy on their
way to the Duma to support the Government.
In the night all the Krasnoe Selo troops, and all the *
Tsarskoe Selo troops, had marched or come in
ii2 RUSSIAN DIARY
19 J 7 trains to Petrograd ; also many of the Kronstadt 1
sailors. There were batches of sailors marching
about, mostly orderly.
At I went upstairs to luncheon ; there was
nothing to eat in my hotel. On the staircase met
the Ambassador and Locker-Lampson. I told
His Excellency all I had seen and heard. He
was inclined to believe it true that the Emperor
had been detained at Bologoe. After luncheon
the Daily Chronicle correspondent came to the
Ambassador with the news that a delegation was
leaving for Bologoe to inform the Emperor that
his brother had been appointed Regent until the
end of the war. He told us that new Ministers
had already been chosen, with Prince Lvov as
President of the Council ; that the food-supply
would now be all right, as the town had been
organised into districts ; that 500 officers, including
many Generals, had been to swear allegiance ;
that in the Duma Protopopov had been received
with laughter and supreme contempt, and sent to
the Peter-Paul Fortress.
I left the Embassy intending to go to the Fon-
tanka to see the Michael Gorchakovs, but in front
of the Summer Garden Chapel I met Vesey, who
told me there had just been a battle in the Liteiny
Prospekt, the police still firing machine-guns.
I returned at once to the Embassy to tell General
Knox, who was going that way to the Duma.
Outside the Embassy a man was saying that
machine-guns had again been firing in the Nevski
and down Michail Street. Knox had told me at
DEATH OF STACKELBERG 113
luncheon that Protopopov had had machine-guns 1917
put on all the corner houses of Petrograd, and that
the troops had taken forty-four machine-guns off
the roofs yesterday ; but evidently there are still
some left, for I had heard one firing close to the
Ours at midday.
I left the Embassy to walk back to the hotel,
and in the Millionaia heard a General had just been
killed, and later that when some soldiers forced
their way into General Stackelberg's house, he had
shot at them with his revolver and then ran out
of the house to the Palace Quay, jumping over the
parapet on to the frozen Neva, where he was shot.
When I got back to the hotel I found our street
quite empty and nobody except residents allowed
to enter the hotel. All passports had to be shown.
This I had implored Berg, the manager, to order
two days ago, as every Germanophil or suspected
person naturally flies to an hotel to hide himself.
I was passed in and found the Commandant in the
hall giving orders. I asked Berg to translate for
me, and I requested the Commandant to put a
guard on the roof so that there could be no mistake
about machine-guns being there. A police machine-
gun had been firing down our street and the Nevski
fifteen minutes before, but could not be located.
I went upstairs to see Sazonov, and sat with him
twenty minutes. He had seen an old lady shot in
the street by the police machine-gun. // etait
outrage. I went out again to the Ours by Little
Stable Street, where there had been large patches
of blood in the snow when I passed in the morning.
ii4 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 The falling snow had now covered them : it had
been snowing since 12.
At the Ours I only heard lies, and from there
I went to call on the Polovtsovs. They had gone
to the Foreign Office, so I went on there to see
Madame Tatistchev,* and found Madame Polovtsov
and several friends. In a few minutes Peter
Polovtsov and Madame Ignatiev, whom I had
just met in the street, came in. They were saying
that Madame Virbova had died of measles, that
the Empress had complained there were no troops
in Tsarskoe Selo, that she asked for some one
responsible to be sent there, that Rodzianko had
himself left for Tsarskoe with two Members of the
The French Ambassador called, and after staying
twenty minutes took me in his automobile as far as
the English Embassy my first drive since Friday.
He told me Bark and his official staff of the Ministry
of Finance had been arrested. In the hotel I was
told 3000 people had been shot in all. One wonders
how many more the police would have killed unless
the troops had joined the people ! The news is that
Stiirmer died in the night ! Countess Freedericksz,
who is very ill, was taken out of her house just
before it was set on fire, and passed the night on a
stretcher in the Guards' Hospital. Her daughter
appealed to the Ambassador for her to be taken in
at any English institution, so it was arranged by
the English Chaplain, who at luncheon to-day at
* Wife of the Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign
Affairs formerly of the Russian Embassy in Paris.
THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS 115
the Embassy told the Ambassador she had been 1917
removed in a sledge and stowed away at the top
of the English Nursing Home.
2 Fahrenheit. Lovely morning, very cold wind.
Snow being cleared away. Usual people in the
streets. I washed my windows, which were very
dirty. No bread !
Seymour came to see me and told me the situation ;
was getting serious not in the streets, which werei
quieting down but amongst the Social Democrats,
who were throwing printed inflammatory mani- ,
festos out of automobiles. We discussed, and he *
agreed to, a proposal I made to acquaint the Social
Democrats of the Allied nations with the gravity of
the position here, and ask them to telegraph to their
Russian comrades. We went out together down
the Nevski, which seemed quite normal ; people
walking, but no traffic. The dead horse was still
at the corner of the Little Stable Street.
Seymour left me at the Ours, where I saw Frasso. Thursday,
He had been at the Duma yesterday and had seen' Mar - *5- D -
the Grand Duke Kyrill march in at the head of the
representatives of the Navy to support the new
Government. He had also heard that Rodzianko
had not gone to Tsarskoe Selo to see the Empress.
I went on to the Polovtsov's and found four
Foreign Office men who had had luncheon there.
From that moment I began to realise how serious
the situation was getting. They told me the
Emperor had left Bologoe in his train and had been
heard of at or near Pskov. Madame Polovtsov was
very anxious and worried. I went to the Embassy.
n6 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 The streets very full still quiet, but groups of
people everywhere. The Ambassador came down-
stairs. As I helped him on with his coat I told him
of the project Seymour had been to see me about.
He said he had received a letter on the same subject
fjand had already telegraphed. Just then he was
I called to the telephone, and when he came out said
the Emperor had abdicated the Heir Apparent
was to reign under the Regency of Michail Alex-
androvich. As he went out, Wilton * came in
with no news.
Lady Georgina came down and I helped her
arrange rooms for Raikes, King's Messenger, and
eight officers w T ho were expected from Romanov.
Somerset, a King's Messenger, was also moving
* into the Embassy. He had been staying at the
Astoria and saw the red flag hoisted on the Winter
Palace. Presently Raikes arrived with the officers
and the bags and a lot of our submarine sailors.
The sea journey had been good all the way, and
after the North Cape as smooth as glass ; but the
railway journey had been terrible. No accommo-
dation in the train and eight nights without changing
their clothes ! As they were leaving their port a
ship caught fire, illuminating the whole country
and making a weird effect on the snow. General
Poole came in from the Duma and told the Am-
bassador the situation was very grave. I helped
to carry the bags up.
On my way to the Foreign Office I met a hearse
with an oak coffin coming from the Million aia
* The Times Correspondent.
SITUATION AT FOREIGN OFFICE 117
the first funeral I have seen since the beginning of 1917
the Evoution ; the Revolution began to-day !
At the Foreign Office I found, besides Princess
Michail Gorchakov and Countess Alexander Schu-
valov, a number of men. Amongst them was
Etter, the Russian Minister to Persia, whom I had
not seen since his return to Petrograd. He told me
that there was no confirmation of the Emperor's
abdication that the Foreign Office had also been
telephoned to for information that the actual
Government could not get in touch with him.
Etter had had luncheon on Monday with Boris
Vladimir ovich, who was leaving at 3 for Tsarskoe
Selo, so as to see the Emperor the moment he
arrived. Savinski described his morning at the
Astoria his room riddled with bullets, and how
he went to the Italian Embassy, where the Am-
bassador most kindly received him.
Just before I left the Foreign Office, Tatistchev
came into the drawing-room. He had been at the
Duma since 10 in the morning. He said there was
no news of the Emperor that the situation was
most precarious and " hung on a hair." All the
Foreign Office men had identification papers given
them as a precaution.
When I got back to the Europe I found the
guard had been doubled and Meserve, the American
banker, told me that guards had been put at all
the banks. In the hall I met General Poole, who
asked if I had any news. I repeated what I had
heard at the Foreign Office, that the situation was
most critical. He said, " That is just what I told
ii8 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 the Ambassador." I dined with the Meserves and
played bridge afterwards. Charlier, of the Belgian
Consulate, came in at 9.45 and said he had taken
the Belgian Minister to the English Embassy for a
conference with the English and French Ambassa-
dors, and at 10 he had to go and fetch him. He
returned at 10.45 and said the situation was
slightly better than earlier in the evening, and they
hoped the crisis might be weathered, but it was
I heard from the National City Bank clerks that
Stackelberg did run away from his house, but was
shot crouching behind a lamp-post on the Palace
Quay ; that after the soldiers shot him they
stripped him naked and left him in the middle of
the road. The patrols rode over his body as it lay
there two hours. I had passed along the quay at
midday, and as the snow on the Neva had not
been trampled, I think this must be true.
I also heard there that the Empress had been
placed under guard by a friendly officer, who thus
prevented any question of soldiers or people
molesting her. The soldiers of Tsarskoe Selo
looted all the wine-shops, but next morning asked
their officers to take them to Petrograd. The
trains did not go yesterday to Tsarskoe Selo for the
first time. Countess Kleinmichel had managed to
escape yesterday before they went to arrest her in
her house. The soldiers drank all her wine, and
she was arrested this afternoon at the Chinese
Legation. Also heard that General Knorring,*
* It was his cousin,
THE NEW GOVERNMENT 119
my friend the Grand Duchess Vladimir's equerry, 1917
had offended a soldier at the club and been shot on
the staircase ; that General Schebeko was asked to
give up his sword and 1000 roubles to those who
wished to arrest him, which he did ; that General
Nostitz was arrested, taken to the Duma, and
Madame Voyeikov came to the Embassy while I
was there, about her mother, Countess Freedericksz,
who is staying in the English Nursing Home.
The troops had visited the home. After leaving
the Foreign Office I went to the Ours, but Frasso
had not come back from the Duma. He is Deputato
Italiano, and they let him assist at the seances.
i Fahrenheit. Sunny morning. The streets Friday,
being swept and the snow carried away on the Mar> I6< D '
usual horse drays.
10 a.m. The old man who keeps a music shop
opposite has reopened it after six days. Wood is
being brought on horse sledges to the house
opposite. Bennett brought me writing-paper and
told me there were many groups of people every-
where and much revolutionary conversation and
talk about arresting those who don't agree with the
At 11.15 on g m g downstairs found Skirmunt
(Conseiller de I'Empire) in the hall. He said the
new Government was composed of the most
intelligent men in Russia. On my way to the
Embassy, near the Votive Church,., met Bunting,
Permanent Secretary to Ways and Communications.
He told me the nomination of Prince Lvov as
izo RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 President of the Council and Minister of the
Interior was excellent that he was a man who was
listened to and respected by all classes.
At the Embassy I found Lady Georgina ; the
Ambassador had gone to the Foreign Office.
Whilst we were talking, Williams, of the Daily
Chronicle, came in. He thought the situation
clearer, but by no means settled. He said the
Minister of Justice, Kerenski, was a good appoint-
ment that he was the cleverest lawyer in Russia
that in the Duma last night about 8 p.m., whilst
the Extreme Left were shouting for a Republic,
Kerenski came in and said, " Comrades, I am
Minister of Justice." They roared out, " In what
Government ? " He said, " The Emperor has
abdicated and Michail Alexandrovich is to be
Regent ! " More shouts for a Republic. He
answered, " I was born a Republican and I shall
die a Republican ; but Russia is not ready yet for
that form of Government, and when the war is
over which we all intend to win then the will
of the country will be followed."
After leaving the Embassy I went to the Ours
and had luncheon with Frasso, who had been at
the Duma till 5 yesterday. He had nothing new
to tell. In the afternoon found Madame Polovtsov
just going out, so we went together down the
Morskaia Jewish students were pulling down the
eagles over the shops and over the Yacht
Club. We went and saw Mary Hartmann, wife
of the Colonel of the Horse Guards. There
were many young officers of the Horse Guards ,
ABDICATION OF THE EMPEROR 121
Madame Tatistchev and Princess Gorchakov 1917
We heard the Emperor had abdicated for himself
and his son (which is not legal), and that Michail
Alexandrovich had refused the Regency. We went
back by Count Freedericksz's house, which is com-
pletely gutted, along the Potsdam Street to Isaac
Square, and down the Morskaia across the Nevski
to the Winter Palace, where the Red Flag is flying
and the eagles on the big gates are covered with
red cloth. The big coat of arms is still on the large
entrance gate. We then went on by the Millionaia
to the Palace Quay. The flag of the Imperial
Navy is now flying on the Peter-Paul Fortress in
i place of the Emperor's flag. From the Palace Quay f
> we heard volleys being fired across the river. f
' I afterwards understood it was the police being |
\J6hot against a wall.
I never saw Petrograd look more beautiful
brilliant sunshine, cloudless sky, and yesterday's
snow not swept away. At the Embassy I found
Lady Georgina very busy, as a guard of thirty-six
young men of the Corps des Pages had been
appointed to guard the Embassy. I went and
helped her to arrange the two rooms given to them.
They were all sons of well-known families and mostly
quite young. The Ambassador was receiving them.
Knox came back from the Duma and said Michail
Alexandrovich had refused the Regency, so they
were in a great fix as to who was to be head of the
Empire until the end of the war. The Ambassador
. in reply to my inquiries said that things were going
122 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 from worse to worst. During dinner at Prince
Constantine Radziwill's, an officer of the Etat-
Major came in with a typed copy of the Emperor's
abdication, which Skirmunt translated into French.
I found it a little difficult to grasp, but it seemed
to me that while the first part referring to the war
was very fine, the part about handing over the
power to his brother was illogical. Can one hand
over something which has already been taken
The Etat-Major officer said he was at the Duma
when the Countess Kleinmichel was taken there.
She was brought in between two enormous sailors.
When they arrested her at the Chinese Embassy
she offered the soldiers cigarettes, but they said
they didn't want any nonsense like that they
wanted her \ She was taken from the Chinese
Embassy on a horse dray to the Duma. On
Wednesday evening the Chinese Legation had
telephoned to the English Embassy that the troops
were battering at their doors. What ought they
to do ? Having owned that Countess Kleinmichel
was there, they were advised to open them im-
mediately. She has since been released from the
I heard that Empress Marie has left Kiev in an
automobile ; that a guard has been placed on
Michail Alexandrovich's apartment ; that the
abdication of the Emperor was countersigned by
Count Freedericksz ; that the Empress was in bed,
suffering from violent hysteria.
The Ambassador went on Thursday to see the
FOOD SCARCITY 123
Grand Duchess Xenia in her palace. She was in
a great state of mind. Nicolai Michailovich who
had been banished to his country estate in January
was already back in Petrograd Thursday night.
The streets everywhere crammed with orderly
crowds. The wood-drays and a few sledges in the
streets some shops open.
6 Fahrenheit. Deep snow fell in the night ; Saturday,
still snowing hard, with high wind. I found a
sledge at the door and drove to the Embassy.
Flurries of snow almost impossible to see. Lady
Georgina gave me some sardines and jam, there
being nothing to eat in the hotel.
I went 11.50 to the Embassy before luncheon in
a sledge, and brought back Head (secretary) with
me to the Europe. I had seen Skirmunt (Conseiller
de P Empire) on my way out, who said the new
Ministry was safely established ; that they were
sitting at that moment ; that the position had been
very difficult the night before, as Milyukov and
Guchkov had wished to resign in fact, had re-
signed for several hours.
After luncheon at the Europe I went in a sledge
to see Princess Dolly Radziwill. Whilst I was
there they telephoned to say that Schubine had
At 8 I went on foot to dine with the Polovtsovs.
Bunting dined ; his brother, a general, had been
killed at Tver, of which he was Governor, for
refusing to give up his sword to the soldiers.
Polovtsov told me that Milyukov had made a
very good impression at the Foreign Office ; that
124 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Pokrovski was still living there, as he could find
no apartment to go to.
When Guchkov and Schulgine arrived at Pskov
to ask the Emperor to abdicate, he received them
at once and brought out of a drawer from his
writing-table three sheets of writing-paper, with
the substance of his abdication already type-
written. He said his decision to abdicate had
been definitely taken the day before, and he had
drawn up certain leading points. For two whole
hours the envoys worked together at the Act of
Abdication, and two copies of it were signed by
the Emperor and countersigned by General Freed-
ericksz. The envoys then left in the special train
that had been given to them at the Warsaw station
in Petrograd on no authority but their own word.
On their return to Petrograd the soldiers tried to
take away Guchkov's copy of the Abdication Act,
which they all wanted to see and read new-born
Liberty ! The other copy is in the hands of General
Russki. The document Guchkov brought back is
to be handed over solemnly to-morrow, Sunday
morning, to the archives of the Foreign Office.
There has been no official announcement as yet
as to whether the names of the Emperor and the
Imperial Family are to be omitted from the Divine
Liturgy each priest is to follow his own judgment
Goremykine, the former Premier, is very ill and
has asked for a priest. The medicines and remedies
which had been sent from his house to the Peter-
Paul Fortress never reached him.
VISIT TO TSARSKOE SELO 125
The Reds demand the heads of Protopopov and 1917
General Beliaev for handing over machine-guns to
the police. Pitirim, the Metropolitan, who was
arrested, has since been released. Kokovtsov, former
Minister of Finance, whom I knew at Salsomaggiore
in 1913, was arrested in the hall of the Hotel de
1' Europe, but immediately released with apologies.
There have been no arrests maintained of those
who were not directly responsible for reactionary
politics. In Moscow they say only two people
were killed. To inquiries at the Danish Legation
about the Empress Marie Feodorovna it is replied,
" She is well and at Kiev."
I walked home at midnight up the Nevski
everything quite peaceful. On the windows of the
newspaper office was posted up in large letters,
" Nicolai Alexandrovich Romanov [sic] has left
for Livadia." How are the mighty fallen !
8 Fahrenheit. After luncheon, alone at the hotel, Sunday,
I decided to go to Tsarskoe Selo and drove to the
station. The train was very full. When I arrived
I took a sledge and drove along the long avenue
and crossed the Petrograd chaussee by the old
fountain and went through the Convoy Cossacks'
quarters to the Feodorovski Sobor, where I have so
often been to service with the Emperor and his
family. I heard there had been much fighting
here, but all was quite quiet now like any other
Sunday. The streets everywhere were full of
soldiers and the public. Before the church I
stopped and got out. A child on skis was playing
in the snow ; the trees sparkling in the brilliant
126 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 sunshine. I then continued by the road along which
the Emperor comes from the palace to the church.
The roadway, cleared of snow, was as well kept as
before. My old friend who sweeps the leaves was
not at his corner, but the mounted Cossacks were
in their places, and the usual policeman at the
park gate which is rarely or never used and at
the palace gate three policemen in their grey
uniform ; each of them had a white armlet.
I drove on to the old palace and then along the
park to Prince Putiatin's house, where, having no
cards, I wrote a word for him. I saw his servant
was much upset. He explained to me the Prince
had gone away, but I did not realise he had been
arrested until the Grand Duke Paul told me.
Prince Putiatin had been to see the authorities ;
in his absence General Ivanov had arrived and,
using the Prince's typewriting machine, had
written a manifesto saying he had been sent from
the Front by the Emperor to take the lead against
the insurgents. The soldiers coming in and finding
what had been written without the Prince's know-
ledge, waited till he came in, and arrested him.
He is now lodged at the Riding School next to the
Municipal Duma (Town Hall).
From there I drove round the Grand Duchess
Vladimir's palace and gardens, where I had spent
so many happy days, and found everything in
order, with sentries at the gates and the front door,
I wrote my name on the Grand Duke Paul and
sent in my card to Princess Palei to know if she
THE EMPRESS AND THE ABDICATION 127
would like to see me. Her son came out, said 1917
they were at tea, and asked me in. I found the
Grand Duke tnerve mais pas abattu, and Princess
Palei unhappy. I told him all I had seen and
heard in Petrograd and the state of the town to-day.
He told me that it was he who had announced to
the Empress that the Emperor had abdicated
that she had known nothing whatever that she
was completely broken down, but dressed and
walking about that the little boy and the two
younger daughters had quite got over their measles
that the Grand Duchess Olga had bronchitis as
well as the measles, and Grand Duchess Tatiana
was also very ill.
Princess Palei told me that at the Mass at the
old parish church where the Empress Elizabeth
had a fit (1760) and was too heavy to be carried
away all the names of the Imperial family had
been left out, and that the priest cried when he
gave her the pain benit.
The Grand Duke asked for news of Boris Vladi-
mirovich or Kyrill Vladimirovich. On my way to
the station I drove to Boris Vladimirovich's house,
rang the bell, and asked to see Bennett, his English
servant ; but he took so long to come that I wrote
my name with the date, and left. There was a
good deal of firing last night at 10.
They began to clean the tramway lines at 9 a.m., Monday,
but owing to Saturday's heavy fall of snow, and Mar> I9< D '
snow all to-day, there was much to do. In St.
Isaac's Place, soldiers were also clearing away the
snow. Bought half a pound of butter for 90 kopeks
128 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 instead of I rouble 75 kopeks the price before
the Revolution. At 2 to the Polovtsovs and found
his brother Peter had been appointed Secretary to
Guchkov, the Minister of War. At 4.30 to the
Embassy. Lady Georgina had been in the morning
to see Grand Duchess Victoria, who was down-
hearted and cross.
Tuesday, 2 Fahrenheit. Woke up at 9 after twelve and
a half hours' sleep. To see Lady Sybil Grey, who
is leaving to-morrow with Somerset for England
via Bergen. She was out. Went on to the Embassy
to leave my letters for the bag. Heard excellent
French and English war news there. At 11.25
the first tram went by.
Monday and Oh ! Archie, we have had a week ! As you may
Mar- 8 19-20 i ma g me > I have been in the streets all through the
L. to Sir revolution constantly on my stomach in the snow
w ^ t ^ ie P^ ce machine-guns firing over me. You
would have laughed to see me lying in the snow
in the middle of a street with a fat woman across
my body and the machine-guns raking the street.
I am very, very tired. I saw a great deal and also
heard a great deal of first-hand news, all of which
I have written down from hour to hour.
I just stepped down to Tsarskoe Selo yesterday
after luncheon to see what was going on. There
had been much fighting there, but all was quite
quiet now, as on any other Sunday.
I then went on to see Paul, the Grand Duke ;
he had seen the Empress in the morning. She was
calm, she realises their position, and what is
more her own want of judgment.
SOLDIERS SUPPORT THE REVOLUTION 129
The first firing by the police was in our street at 1917
5.15 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. Until Wednes-
day the 1 4th, a complete upheaval. By Thursday
the police had been beaten and the Emperor had
abdicated. The new Executive Government only
wanted a Constitutional regime, but things have
gone so far it will probably have to be a Republic ;
still, Russia is a box of surprises.
We have been passing through hell and I don't
suppose we are out of it yet. If the workmen keep
the soldiers on their side, order will not be re-
established, there being no police to protect the
peaceable citizen. Yesterday two priests were
mauled a thing which had not happened before.
The first tram for ten days has just gone by.
The post began again this morning.
The fear is that the present Liberal-Radical
Government may become Radical-Red. Michail
Alexandrovich upset everything by not accepting
the Regency which was offered him. His wife was
away at Gatchina, or probably it would have been
I was at the Duma when the first three regiments
" came over." I never once saw a drunken soldier.
Tuesday, March 13, was the worst day. The people
had seized guns from the arsenal and were firing at
anything and anybody. In the Nevski there is
hardly a broken window except from bullets, and
no shops looted. Rumour has it that " Alexandra
Feodorovna Romanova " says : " If only the Duma
had been prorogued a week earlier, all this would
never have happened ! "
130 RUSSIAN DIARY
J 9iy It is too soon to judge of details, but all agree
it will be impossible for the Emperor and his family
to stay in Russia. Do you think we shall see them
at Cannes as we did the Caserta ? * The Executive
Government regret that matters have gone so far.
All they wanted was a Constitutional Empire.
To think of the magnificent patrimony God gave
the Emperor and how it has been frittered away !
He never changed a muscle of his face while the
Abdication Manifesto was being drawn up in his
Thank God ! my Grand Duchess had left a
fortnight before for the Caucasus. I was to have
left last night with her son Boris to join her. God
only knows how she will get back, poor soul !
We have no war news except that Bapaume is
taken, which is cheering. I am very active but
horribly tired and feel very, very old much older
than at the Battle of the Marne, September '14.
(Later.) I have just heard the Emperor is on
his way back to Tsarskoe Selo ; the idea is to send
them to England, the home of liberty and of all
refugees. He asked to be allowed to go to Norway.
(Later.) No fresh news. The trams running,
some restaurants open, but of course no police ;
I shall stay on. I have been very active the last
two days, and am already friends with the new
Minister of War's private secretary, so perhaps
I shall get my work through. The general im-
pression of the new Minister of Foreign Affairs is
* Count Caserta, of Naples, heir to the last King of the
THE DOWAGER EMPRESS 131
" intelligent, but not strong." Luncheon to-day at 1917
the Embassy, now becomes normal. Cold and
sunny. Our good war news cheers one up. If only
Lord Kitchener were alive to know it !
Letter from Tsarskoe from Grand Duke Boris's Wednesday.
English servant saying that he had a trustworthy 2I *
messenger who could take anything I wished to
send to the Grand Duke at the place where he
I heard at the Foreign Office that the Empress
Marie had telegraphed there in English on March
12: "Where is my eldest son ?" that the
Princess Nicolas of Greece telegraphed there
to-day for news of her mother, Grand Duchess
Vladimir ; that the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich
had been telegraphed to by the Executive Govern-
ment that he could return to Russia whenever he
chose and go wherever he liked ; that last night
large fires had been lit at the foot of the column
in the Winter Palace square to melt the snow and
earth and enable a pit to be dug for the burial of
the victims of the Revolution. At midnight this
was stopped by order. The Workmen's and Sol-
diers' Committee then asked if they could be buried
in the Summer Garden ; no answer was given.
Every serious question is postponed as much and
as long as possible. In the meantime, with the
severe frost, there is no danger from the unburied
The large coat of arms over the main entrance
to the Winter Palace is still uncovered, but the big
crown on the top of the palace is covered with red.
132 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Zero Fahrenheit. Took a sledge at the hotel.
The Driver, in a rude and insolent tone of voice,
demanded five roubles for what before would have
cost me I rouble, and a Russian 60 kopeks. I
repeated in amazement, " Five roubles ! " and got
into the sledge. Infuriated, he scowled fiercely at
me, and refused to start for several minutes. All
the way he kept on repeating, " Five roubles,"
mimicking my accent. On arrival at the Ours,
I just gave him 70 kopeks. He stood aghast, but
took it like a lamb.
Luncheon with Constantine Radziwill to meet
his cousin Princess Dorothy, who had arrived from
Paris the night before, after six days at sea, from
Hull by Lerwick to Bergen.
Friday, Passing across the Foreign Office square, found
the Imperial coat of arms and the two eagles from
the smaller gates, and the great crown on the
roof of the Winter Palace had been removed since
last night, when I passed at 6.15. Along the
Morskaia a regiment marched with its band play-
ing the " Marseillaise " over and over again. The
news from the Russian trenches is bad utter ruin
of all discipline and the wholesale deposition of
officers, if not worse ! This is from the Dvinsk
Saturday, To-day the Allies recognised the Provisional
Mar. 24. Government, to whom, through the abdication of
the Emperor, their Embassies have become auto-
matically accredited. At our Embassy I saw the
Ambassador, who had been ill in bed for three days,
preparing to go to the Council of State to announce
EMPEROR AND EMPRESS ARRESTED 133
England's recognition. I heard later that his 1917
speech was very severe, but much to the point.
General Kornilov, who is responsible for the
safety of the Emperor and Empress, and who put
the Empress under arrest for sending a telegram in
cipher to the Emperor before there had been
no question of their arrest asked the Minister of
War to send an officer competent to fulfil the duties
required of one in constant contact with the
Imperial family. The officer sent has been working
at the Etat-Major in Petrograd since the beginning
of the war. He is to live at Tsarskoe Selo, opposite
the church of the Old Palace, on the ground floor
of Count BenckendorfFs house, having other
officers with him. He has been instructed to call
the Emperor " Majesty," not " Imperial Majesty."
Some three hours after the Emperor's arrival
at Tsarskoe Selo a crowd of workpeople, with
several machine-guns, arrived at the palace to find
out whether the Emperor had really returned, and
asked him to show himself. It was arranged with
Count Benckendorff that a deputation of them
should come into the big hall, and that the Emperor
should walk across it from one room to another.
As soon as they had come in, the Emperor, accom-
panied by Count Benckendorff, walked from one
room to the other across the end of the long gallery.
He never turned his head. The deputation in-
voluntarily uncovered. The crowd then left.
The Grand Duke Alexei has quite recovered.
His sailor is always with him. Count Benckendorff
is under arrest, but is allowed, with his wife, to live
134 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 in the palace, and is in attendance on the Emperor.
Only le personnel douteux has been sent away ;
most of the servants are still there. The Emperor
is allowed to walk in the park, but always accom-
panied by an officer. He sweeps the snow off the
paths to occupy himself. He has the face of a dead
man, though his fine eyes still gleam ; he shows no
emotion at all he has never shown emotion even
during the most trying situations of his life.
I grieve to have to write it of so good a man, but as
Emperor, through all this terrible time, he has not
made un seul beau geste. The Empress is quite
calm. They are not separated, as the newspapers
say. Her evil genius, Madame Virbova, is ill with
measles in the palace. She will be taken away under
arrest as soon as she recovers.
Dining at the French Embassy I heard that the
Minister of Justice Kerenski is the only member
of the new Government who makes any impression
of having real force of character. The position is
in some ways less strained, but every day the Reds
become more exorbitant in their demands they
want the Emperor and Empress to be brought to
trial, and not allowed to leave the country. Any-
how, it would take at least a fortnight before
anything could be arranged for their departure
and much may happen in that time.
The telephone direct to the Executive Govern-
ment which the Duma had given Her has been
taken away. As long as they remain here there is
bound to be distrust and unrest. I suggested
Balmoral to the Ambassador which, after all, is
BREAK-UP OF THE ARMY 135
not England, but Scotland. A moment might come 1917
when their presence in England might hurt the
Entente. The children are still ill though better
which complicates matters.
The Kyrills are behaving tactlessly ; he is
attacked by all parties for his attempts to curry
favour with the powers that be, at the expense of
his family. Kyrill Egalite \ A Radical newspaper
said, " Only rats leave a sinking ship ! "
Our old friend Mita, calm, and covered with red
bows ! The streets are normal and the victims
to be buried by their relations, not by the Govern-
The Workmen's and Soldiers' Committee is
impossible ; but every day will strengthen the
hands of the Provisional Government, if only the
army remains on the side of order. Whole regi-
ments are leaving the Front and walking off to
One dines in morning clothes en citoyen. The
food question is still acute and there is only soldiers'
black bread. The post comes fitfully, no news-
papers have been delivered yet. Over a million
letters were destroyed at the General Post Office.
The cold always continues, and snow most days.
4 Fahrenheit. The longest winter since 1808.
I wish the spring could begin.
When shall I ever see you again ? Many things
may yet happen here worse than what we have
already gone through.
At 12.30 Valentine, of the English Royal Flying Sunday,
Corps, with his Cossack orderly, arrived from Mar>2 5- D -
136 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Moscow to ask for instructions from the Minister of
War, whether his job at the Moscow aerodrome is
to continue under the new Government. The
hotel was crammed, so he dressed and had luncheon
in my apartment, where I found him busy eating
on my return. He told me that at Moscow he had
helped to defend his friends against the soldiers
who, intoxicated by the notorious First Order, were
assassinating their officers.
The officer in attendance on the Emperor told me
His Majesty had asked permission to telegraph to
Hanbury- Williams, and a telegram had been sent
telling the General how the children were. The
Emperor said he must learn to play " Patience " ;
before, he never had any leisure, now he has too
much. Madame Narischkine, Grande Maitresse de
la Cour, is living in the palace, having voluntarily
placed herself under arrest, in order to be near the
Emperor and Empress.
Rasputin's body was dug up at Tsarskoe Selo on
the night of March 22-23. I* had been embalmed
and looked as if still alive. It was stripped and
insulted by the soldiers, afterwards put on a motor-
trolley and brought to the Imperial stables in
Petrograd and burnt at Udilni, fifteen miles north
of Petrograd, between 3 and 7 yesterday morning.
When pulled out of the Little Neva the body was
found, on official examination, to have three shot
wounds one in the side, which was mortal ; one
in the back ; and one on the forehead, which was
discoloured by the powder. There was no dagger
wound. The medal found on it at Tsarskoe Selo
THE BALLET UNDER NEW REGIME 137
has been lost. It was taken off by the soldiers. 1917
The disfigurement of the face was caused by
grapnels used in dragging the corpse out of the
Our Ambassador, looking better, was more Wednesday
pleased with the situation. He had good news of
the Dvinsk-Riga front and of the moral of the
Crossing the Champs de Mars, watched the
soldiers digging the graves for the victims.
In the afternoon had another row with an
iswoscbik, who was on the hotel rank and refused
to take me. There was a great crowd. I said in
French to a lady who was there that I had lived
twenty years in Republican France, and that there
cab-drivers were the servants of the public. She
translated this to the crowd, and the man was
sent off the rank.
As I happened to be at the last representation of
the Imperial ballet, I went this evening to the first
representation of the ballet under the new order.
I was there before the curtain went up, at 7, an
hour earlier than formerly. In the ground floor
Imperial stage box on the left, where the Grand
Dukes always sat, were several lady dancers and
one man. Over their head, in the first box, where
the children of the Grand Dukes used to go, were
a Jew and a Jewess. The opposite ground-floor
stage box was empty. The box over that
formerly reserved for members of the Imperial
household was occupied by eleven people and a
child all strangers to each other ! The great
138 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Imperial box in the centre of the grand tier was
unoccupied until the second entr'acte, when a man
and woman of the people came and sat in it.
It disgusted me. The " Marseillaise " was played
at the beginning of the second act and encored.
At the third act the turning down of the lights
before the conductor took his place obviated
another repetition of the " Marseillaise." In the
ballet of the " Sleeping Beauty," a King and Queen
and a Princess danced by Smirnova all wore
crowns ! I left at 9.15 before it was over, and
easily found an izvoschik ; there are plenty now
on the streets.
I was told that at the end a man with long hair
and a red tie and a soldier harangued the house
from the Imperial stage box on the first floor.
Many people went on to the stage and mixed with
the dancers and sang the " Marseillaise."
Thursday, Saw a regiment marching to the Winter Palace
square to see General Kornilov, the Military
Governor of Petrograd. I heard that Guchkov
has left for Stavka to settle the trouble about the
Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich, who refuses to
leave, insisting that he is just as much a general
as the others, and that although his command
has been taken away, he is none the less a general
that the Empress exclaimed, " How can I
believe what they say about Voyeikov, when all
they say about me is false ? " that she suffers
much from oppression on the chest and has con-
stantly to sit down while talking that the Grand
Duke Alexei runs about everywhere, and had a
GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR ARRESTED 139
French lesson this afternoon with his tutor. I have 1917
direct news from the palace.
The newspapers this morning announce the Friday,
sequestration of the apanages and lands belonging JJ^ init- '
to the Imperial family, and what is still worse mate friend
the arrest of the Grand Duchess in her villa at j^uchels
Kislovodsk in the Caucasus. Their story is that Vladimir.
she had given a letter for her son Boris to a general
who was going to Stavka ; that she had written
to say the only hope for Russia was in Nicolai
Nicolaievich. The general was arrested en route,
and the letter was found.
I am terribly upset, but trying not to worry
about it, because there have been many temporary
arrests, and after an explanation the persons
arrested have been set free. I feel quite sure that
she has done nothing for which she can be attacked.
(Later.) No further news of the Grand Duchess.
As long as she is under arrest no one can see her,
otherwise I would have gone to the Caucasus,
but if she is let out I shall go at once. Nothing in
the newspapers about Boris's arrest last night.
I seem to have been the only person who knew,
as it was a lady friend of his who telephoned me.
Nicolai Nicolaievich, with Vladdy and Nicky Orlov
in his train, has left Stavka for the Crimea. He is
not even allowed to fight. Olga Orlov came on in
another train with Grand Duchess Nicolai and her
two nieces to Kiev, where they went to a convent,
but there is no news yet whether they have joined
the others in the Crimea.
All the news from the Russian Front is better,
140 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 and the Army seems gradually coming round to
order, and I think will sooner or later work entirely
with the Provisional Government against the
ultra-Reds. What is most needed is a head it
don't matter who !
The cruellest thing the Emperor did to his country
was to abdicate for the Grand Duke Alexei. He
had no right to do it, and if it had not been done
everything would have gone much more easily and
smoothly for Russia. I think the day is not far off
when the Army and the people, excited by German
influence, will come to loggerheads ; then there
will be a bloody carnage. I shall not go out
Dorothy Radziwill came back full of potins,
how the French hated the English, etc. If she
don't take care she will get deported, as this
Government is most anti-German and will stand no
I know the officer in charge at Tsarskoe Selo
and so I hear what is going on. The Emperor
always thought they would be allowed to stay in
Livadia or leave the country. God only knows
what will become of them. The Kyrills are in a
great state. Poor things ! Their English nurse
has typhoid fever, and no one to take her place.
Their front door is still barricaded and has a red
flag. Two regiments with bands playing the
" Marseillaise," one marching up the Nevski and
the other in the opposite direction, have just passed,
all in perfect order a comfort to see after the
absence of order of ten days. The burial of the
FELIX YUSUPOV 141
victims may cause disturbances and we are advised 1917
to stay in that day, but I shall just go and have
Good-bye, dear, I have written instructions, if
anything happens to me here, that all my papers
are to be sent to you.
Felix Yusupov has just been to see me ; he says Saturday,
the Emperor and family ought to be sent away for ar> 3I '
the safety of Russia, and should be kept under
surveillance till the end of the war ; otherwise, he
said, there would always be the fear of Her corre-
sponding with Germany.
Felix is working with the Army here to promote
order and discipline. Things seem to be going
better, and there is hope that the Army, once
returned to order, will keep in with the Government,
and have no truck with the workmen which is
all one can ask.
There is a question of the " Boatmen's Volga
Song " being made the National Anthem. The
red flags get fewer each day ; to me they are most
irritating surely the Russian tricolour is quite
Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich went in his
train from Tiflis to Stavka. The Government
comes back to-night. If they can only keep in !
I think they will now.
I have so much to write about but I can't keep
my thoughts together. Felix's visit has switched
me off. I must go to the Embassy now. I write
down everything I hear, and once it's written
am like a hen with her egg ; I forget all about it.
142 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 I believe no letter can be forwarded either to or
from the Imperial family. They still pray for
Empress Marie in the Kiev churches.
The regiments march about the town with bands
playing the " Marseillaise " and red banners with
" War to a Victorious Finish." The authorities
are being very clever about the burial of the victims.
While the dead civilians are being buried quickly
and quietly, the dead police are left. There can be
no public funeral for the police, the men who were
the cause of everything.
Sunday, I met to-day Prince Belosselski-Belozerski, father
April i. D. of p rincess Qlga Orlov. He told me that the
Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich, accompanied
by Prince Vladimir Orlov and his son Nikky, had
come in his train from Tiflis to Stavka, and that the
Grand Duchess Anastasie Michailovna, accompanied
by her two nieces (the youngest fiancee to Nikky
Orlov) and Princess Olga Orlov, had gone to a
The Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich had left
Stavka for the Crimea. There was no news of the
The Ministers, with the exception of Prince
Lvov, went on Friday to Stavka and return to
Petrograd to-morrow, Monday night, April 2.
I had often wondered how such an excellent
Government had been called together when the
Duma was in a state of absolute chaos and every-
body surexcite. Prince Belosselski-Belozerski told
me the facts which he had from an unimpeachable
CONSTITUTION FOR RUSSIA 143
Rodzianko in the month of December had
arranged with the Emperor that a Constitution
should be given to Russia. A list of Ministers was
drawn up, and an order was given at the Winter
Palace to prepare the State rooms for the occasion
of the announcement and the reception of the Duma
on Tuesday, December 19 December 6 (O.S.)
St. Nicolas, the Emperor's name-day. When
the Empress was told what he intended to do
she sent him off to the Front. He left on Sunday,
December 17. The list of Ministers who were to
have been the first under the New Constitution is
that of the Provisional Government of to-day.
Bennett, who has been stud-groom thirty-seven
years in the service of the Empress Marie, and who
lives in the Anitchkov Palace, received an order
from the members of the Duma to be prepared to
leave the palace on April 14. The next day he was
told he could stay on and that his wages would
continue to be paid to him.* There are two
Italians and one Frenchman also under the same
I dined at Tsarskoe Selo last night, on the ground Narrative
floor of the Lycet, with the officer who is responsible
for the safety of their Majesties. Our dinner,
which was the same as that served to the Emperor
and the suite, was brought from the palace, a
couple of hundred yards away, and warmed up
* On his leaving Russia (November 9, 1917) the Government
paid him, in lieu of notice, the sum agreed upon in the original
contract with the Empress-Mother.
H4 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 The officers in attendance are allowed a bottle of
wine a day, and Count Benckendorff gives the
order for brandy. We had Hennessey brandy
bottled 1909. All the wine in the Imperial cellars
is bottled in Russia ; the bottles have the Imperial
arms in the glass.
The Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana came
downstairs yesterday for the first time, and went
to vespers in the palace chapel ; their father gave
an arm to each. The Grand Duchess Marie is
dangerously ill with pneumonia on the top of
measles. The Emperor and Empress have been all
day with her. She could only breathe with oxygen-
bags. Professor Federov came from Petrograd to
see her. The two doctors of the palace and the
Swiss tutor invited the professor and the officer
accompanying him to lunch in their rooms, which
they did. This is against the rules.
The Grand Duke Alexei is quite well and has
his French lessons. Mr. Gibbs, the English tutor,
who was away when the family was arrested, had
asked permission to go into the palace ; this had
been refused. The Emperor and Empress dine in
the big playroom of the Grand Duke Alexei on
the first floor. The dinner-tables are taken in
there all ready laid. The Empress hardly eats
anything, only chicken. There is only one dinner
cooked for everybody in the palace. The suite,
which consists of Madame Narischkine, Count
and Countess Benckendorff, and her son Prince
Dolgorukov and the two demoiselles cfhonneur,
dine and live on the first floor of the right
DESTITUTION OF IMPERIAL FAMILY 145
wing, over the apartments of the Grand Duchess 1917
The servants, who number 163, sent a deputation
to the officer in charge to know whether they are to
be kept as prisoners all the time the Emperor is
there. A suggestion has been sent to the Minister
of War that the servants from the other palaces
should take their places at the end of a month, and
then every month they should be changed. Many
of these servants are married and have their families
living out of the palace. The actual body-servants
of the family were not included in the deputation.
The Emperor asked to be allowed to see Prince
Victor Kotchubey, the head of the Apanages, in
order to put the financial question on some sort of
basis. There is no money at all in the palace.
In course of conversation Count Benckendorff said
the Emperor had no money abroad, and that the
private fortune, including that of the children,
amounted to very little.
The Tsarskoe Selo municipal authorities are as
ultra-Red as Versailles in 1789. They had planned
and had begun to dig a grave in the large square
before the Old Palace, but a telephone message to
the War Office brought a general by the next train
from Petrograd who forbade it. The Empress was
grateful that this had been done.
The Emperor is a fatalist. He is so pleased to
be with his children, and to have the heavy burden
of responsibility he had inherited from his father
lifted from his shoulders, that he does not realise
the great danger both he and the Empress will run
146 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 when the State trials of the former Ministers begin.
The uneducated masses will never be able to dis-
tinguish between the treasonable designs of the
Ministers and the Emperor's unconscious acquies-
cence, or realise his great love of Russia. He still
thinks he will be allowed to leave as soon as the
daughters have recovered. He would like to go to
Every three days the regiment which guards them
is changed for another Tsarskoe Selo regiment, and
the officer who came to-day asked that he should
be allowed to see those guards, as he is respon-
sible for their safety and must know who is in the
palace. It is now arranged that on changing guard
the officer will be presented to the Emperor this
has become a rule.
Each time the guard is changed there is a regular
scrimmage amongst the soldiers as to who should
be on guard in the palace and who should be outside
in the park. Every one desires to be near the
Emperor, such is the love of the Russian for his
Thursday, The burial procession of the victims of the Revo-
April 5- lution in the Champ de Mars began to pass the end
of Michail Street along the Nevski at 8.40. During
the next three hours I saw only four coffins go by,
and there were in all only twelve coffins in that
procession which passed up the Nevski. An auto-
mobile with four people in it was in the procession ;
it contained the Grandmother of the Revolution.
Opposite the Municipal Duma three stripling
Militia youths rushed up to it and stopped it. An
BURIAL OF VICTIMS 147
officer who was at the head of the next company 1917
quickly walked up to them, very red in the face,
stamped his foot, and ordered them off.
The procession was organised extraordinarily
well in companies, and to regulate the distances
between them there were men or women carry-
ing small white flags on poles who signalled down
the line for advancing or halting. At times the
procession would be on only one side of the Nevski,
but generally there were distinct companies on
either side who halted or advanced simultaneously.
At the end of the Michail Street seven or eight
onlookers linked together and joined in behind the
different companies. This I afterwards learnt had
been allowed, and was announced in the news-
papers. I regret not knowing it, as I would have
There were many bands ; I only heard played
the " Marseillaise " and Chopin's " Funeral March."
The people constantly sang a song with a simple,
harmonious tune but sad, and from time to time
the Prayers for the Dead were chanted. When
the captains of the different companies gave the
order all heads were uncovered. Some one in the
procession called out to a man in the crowd near
me to uncover.
The Peter-Paul Fortress cannon were fired for
each coffin placed in the grave. I believe many of
them were empty, the relatives and friends having
already buried their own dead. Sometimes a simple
plank of wood was carried alongside of the coffins
to represent another victim who had already been
148 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 buried. The dead were not all carried together, but
in different parts of the procession as they happened
to come from the different quarters of the town.
Never have I seen such perfect order, nor a
procession or demonstration of people better orga-
nised. The proceedings from beginning to end bear
striking witness to the self-control of the Petrograd
populace. No trams, carriages, or sledges were
allowed all day. The procession went on until 5
in the evening. It snowed fitfully in the morning,
and afterwards the thermometer marked 48 Fahren-
heit without sunshine. The streets in a terrible
state from the thaw.
Friday, I went this morning to visit the common grave on
April 6. D. t j ie Qj ianl p S j e M ars> which is quite close to the
Embassy. The coffins were still uncovered. I
counted over 150. I believe there were in all 168
anyhow, there were not 200. Cement was all ready
to be put over them, and soldiers were placing
planks along, across the coffins. A woman kneeling
by a coffin, which she frequently kissed, was saying
her prayers and crossing herself. I was surprised
at no part being taken by the clergy on the route,
but heard afterwards that they had not been invited
to attend, as they had allowed machine-guns to be
placed by the police on several churches.
To the Embassy, to know at what time the
deputation of Cossacks was coming. At noon,
as they had not come, the Ambassador went to the
Foreign Office to see Miliukov, and was back in
half an hour. He had seen the Cossacks in the
Winter Palace square. Presently from the Em-
ESTHONIAN DEMONSTRATION 149
bassy windows we saw them coming down the 1917
Millionaia on their way to the grave. On reaching
it they wheeled round, advanced towards the
Embassy, and halting at the Suvarov Monument
before the side windows hung a wreath on the neck
of the statue. Proceeding to the Neva front,
they first defiled before, and then drew up facing,
the Ambassador, who, with the Embassy Staff,
was on the balcony. A deputation then came up.
Guy Colebrooke told me he had heard that, when Sunday,
I set fire to my room on Easter Eve a year ago, ^^ 8 * D>
I had been burning political papers. Doux pays !
How the Germanophils hate me !
About noon walked down the Nevski to see the
Esthonian demonstration of 75,000 people with
their national flag blue, black, and white. Heard
that the food question was getting very acute,
chiefly because of the arrival of so many people
out of work in Petrograd, and of all the Belgian
glass-workers from the Donetz.
The Government, excellent though it is, is not Monday,
strong enough for the situation. God only knows A P nl 9- L -
how things will turn out.
We hear the suite of the Emperor has been
moved from his palace to the Old Palace at Tsarskoe
Selo, and some people jump to the conclusion that
the family have been taken away, but I doubt it
where to ? The newspapers all publish what
I am leaving on Wednesday, April n, for Kis-
lovodsk in the Caucasus, in hopes of seeing the
Grand Duchess. Even if I don't see her, she will
ISO RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 know that I have made the effort. It's a long
journey three nights in the train ; and I fear
there is complete anarchy on the railways, the
soldiers insisting on going first class without paying.
But I feel, after all her kindness to me, it is the
least I can do. I shall come back directly. Nobody
but Knorring * knows I am going ; I shall not tell
any one, not even the Ambassador. I fear I might
do her harm ; but I have heard she feels deserted,
and also that she has had a bad heart attack.
We think that she is no longer under arrest, as
Etter has telegraphed to his sister-in-law, " Beau
temps : nous nous promenons" which makes us
think qu'elle est reldchee.
Her automobiles have not been taken, but it is
very difficult to keep them from the Revolutionaries.
To-day I heard that Kerenski, the Minister of
Justice, was trying to get an automobile for him-
self commandeering, not stealing so I have let
Knorring know. By supplying his want it might
save her other motor-cars from being stolen, and
might also help her later on. Everybody's auto-
mobiles were taken at the beginning of the Revo-
lution, and not one has been returned.
I hear that all the palaces which were inherited
by the Imperial family have been made national
property like the Winter Palace, the Tsarskoe
Selo palaces, Peterhof and Oranienbaum ; but
palaces built or bought by the Imperial family
will continue to belong to them. The Apanages
are sequestrated for agrarian purposes, and a civil
* Equerry to the Grand Duchess Vladimir.
ANARCHY AMONG WORKING CLASSES 151
list is to be made. The proposed amount for 1917
Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses is to be
Rs. 30,0000 per year, and for the Princes,
Rs. 1 5,000 per year. Princes are the third genera-
tion from the Emperor.
The people will not work sometimes I think a
few months under the Prussian " iron heel " would
do them good ; the soldiers' attitude is improving
slightly. The working classes are in a state of
absolute anarchy. I do not know what will happen
if the power goes to the Soviets. The work-
people express violent hatred of the English.
It is all very perplexing, very sad, and extremely
worrying. One is anxious without knowing why.
The English newspapers about the Revolution
have not arrived ; it will be interesting to read
them. A month ago to-day was the bad day.
What a day ! When shall I ever leave this country
or see you or Paris again !
Sergei Obolenski came to see me and yesterday Tuesday
I had luncheon with them. He is and looks ill; Apn
but he has passed the medical examination and is
now waiting for an order to go to the Crimea.
He is as charming as ever.
Things go on vaguely, but as long as this Govern-
ment keeps in it is all we ask. I fear Milyukov
will leave better perhaps for those that remain,
though it is always a bother to have to throw
some one overboard.
Neither the Emperor nor his family now have a
penny ; all their money is stopped. There's not a
5-rouble note in the palace of Tsarskoe Selo, so
152 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 that they are all completely in the hands of the
The Council of Workmen and Soldiers consists of
people with false Russian names, and is full of
German agents. Altogether things are not very
April 20. L. I have been away mysteriously. Without telling
anybody I rushed off to Kislovodsk in the Caucasus
to see my Grand Duchess. As you know, she has
always been more than kind to me, and I wanted
to show her that my devotion could be practical.
Nobody from Petrograd had been to see her, and
she was much touched.
When I walked into her villa she was at luncheon.
She was so pleased to see me that all the bothers
of my journey were forgotten. The soldiers and
officers who guard her are well-mannered, but
three weeks before I got there the " Red " Town
Committee which, like all the provincial ones, is
most virulent came into her bedroom at 2.30 a.m.
to read the mandat d'arret ; and afterwards she had
fainting fits and was unconscious for hours. She
is better now, and I did not find her looking too ill.
I had the most awful journey seventy-eight hours,
and twenty hours late ; but I didn't mind, as I
only thought of getting there. Four nights in the
train, and no room to go to on arrival ! We were
four people in the carriage all the way the corridor
filled with twenty-five deserters from the Front.
I arrived in Kislovodsk at 3 a.m. on Easter
morning, and, having no inn to go to, rushed off to
church in time to see the peasants' Easter food
GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR 153
blessed outside the church, with daylight just 1917
glimmering, and the bells ringing wildly in beautiful
When I left Petrograd I did not know if I should
be allowed to see her. I had intended to roder
round the villa to let her know I had come, but on
Easter Day she was allowed to receive, and the
next day there was a nice officer who let me in.
Naturally the soldiers are devoted to her. They
sent her an Easter card, and the officers too. All
the same, it is difficult for the daughter-in-law of
Alexander II to imagine herself a prisoner ! Elle
rfest fas resignee du tout. She told me she thought
of the " Ballad of Reading Gaol " all the time !
She knew absolutely nothing of what has been
going on in Russia.
The only thing for the family is to lie low for
the moment, so that the Provisional Government
should not be put in a position to be attacked by
the Workmen's Committee. I feel that in the end
it won't be so bad for them as most people think,
but the Government is obliged to give in to this
bloody Red Committee in order to exist.
On my advice she has given up the idea of going
to the Crimea. The lease of her Kislovodsk house
is up, and she had a house offered her in the Crimea,
but there are too many of the Imperial family there
already, and, if she is to move, surely it is better
to go towards liberty, which can only be through
Finland. I have since heard that she applied to
go to a sanatorium in Finland, which has been
refused, so I expect she will have to move in to
154 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Andre's villa at Kislovodsk. They will stay on
On Easter Monday she with her son and Etter
and the officer on guard, Mademoiselle Olive and
I, went in three sledges for a drive. Very pretty
country, and the day warm.
I left the same night, as we thought my staying on
might attract notice. Anyhow, I am delighted to
have been able to see her.
The journey back to Petrograd took only three
nights ; the train was six hours late. It was
summer there, but here it is cold and disagreeable.
I went straight to the hotel, had a bath, and drove
to the Embassy to tell the Ambassador I had been
to the Caucasus. He is always delightful and so
quick, and quite understood my going away
without letting him know where I was going, as
I did not want to make him a party to my visit.
The situation has not changed for the better
in my absence. It is all very bad and hopeless.
The spirit of the Fleet is abominable. They have
nearly all their officers locked up, and when
Guchkov went there last week they would not
release them for him, and he had to leave hurriedly.
In 1905 the actual state of affairs was worse during
six weeks no electric light, no railways, no post,
no telegrams. The Emperor, cut off in Peterhof,
was still all-powerful although the Ministers had
to sledge across the ice from the Finland side or
to go in boats to see him, because the Army was on
the side of order. Now there are nearly two
million deserters from the Army. Impossible to
LABOUR MEMBERS AT PETROGRAD 155
make an offensive, and God alone knows if they will 1917
keep the defensive. Altogether it is as bad as it
can be, but in Russia the unexpected always
happens and Witte in 1905 gave the Reds their
heads, and when the people got tired of them
things arranged themselves ; but he had the Army
The English Labour Members are in this hotel,
and a great success ; the Ambassador likes them ;
they are horrified at the present condition of things.
Will Thome and Kerenski dined at the Embassy
last night. Albert Thomas arrived to-day. The
Ambassador is much worried. The Provisional
Government is not strong, and has to give in to
the Soviet, which really ought not to exist. My
news yesterday does not show any change in the (
position, I regret to say. Whereas every one
curses and hates the Empress, most pity the
Emperor. The actual Government is what every
one wanted, and if it had not been for the Em-
peror's abdication for his son, there need never have
been any question of the Soldiers' and Workmen's
Council ; whereas now it is difficult to separate in
one's mind and especially for those who suffer from
it like the Grand Duchess the nominal Government
and the Soviet which terrorises them. I think it
will end in bloodshed.
A man has just been to see me who has a large
munition factory, and he tells me they are working
better now on shorter hours than they were before
on the longer hours.
The Jews are working openly for Germany. )
156 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 They are buying up house property, which is being
sold much below its value for fear of worse days.
April 4. D. To Tsarskoe Selo to-day to see Grand Duke Paul
and get news of his nephew Boris, who before I left
was under arrest in his English cottage in the park
there. It is impossible to see or communicate with
him. He had excellent news of his son Dmitri in
Persia. Kerenski had been to see the Grand Duke
and told him no member of the Imperial family
would be allowed to leave Russia till the end of the
Sunday, A deputation of school-teachers came to the
Apnl 22. D. m ] 3asS y anc [ as ked for His Excellency, who went
on to the balcony. Pares, who happened to be
there, translated a few words from him into
The Neva has at last begun to thaw ; there is an
open stream twenty yards wide along this bank
the rest remains frozen.
April 28. L. It is impossible as yet to realise the upheaval of
everything, and the utter sweeping away of an
Empire in forty-eight hours. Yet this has hap-
pened here, and with hardly any bloodshed about
Much as I deplored the grave errors of the
Empress, my sympathy is always with monarchy
except for France ; there the people are logical
the only logical nation in the world. But for
Russia it will be " out of the frying-pan " to go
from an autocracy to a republic. The two extreme
parties would equally rob, lie, and procrastinate.
I had had fever for five days with a bad
LENIN THE AGENT OF GERMANY 157
cough, and still keep my room. I think it was 1917
the seven nights in the train and the differences
Things go from worse to worst : God alone
knows what will happen.
All the aerodromes are being moved to the Black
Sea to Kherson. Their removal from the environs
of Petrograd is partly due to the fear of a possible
attack by the German Fleet, but principally be-
cause the men won't work here all the aeroplane
soldiers are mobilised artisans.
The French Ambassador is going on leave not to
return, I am sorry to hear. Albert Thomas stays
on in the interim. We don't know yet who will
eventually be nominated.
I was just between my abonnements of the
New Tork Herald and the Times, so have been
without English newspapers describing the Revo-
lution, except one of March 17, which was
In front of the Embassy I fell out of a tram JAprilso. L.
pushed by a citizen soldier on my face and wrist, I
so please excuse bad writing. Two of the militia,
who since the Revolution are taking the place of
the police, helped me to the Embassy, where Lady
Georgina tied up my wrist.
The German agents are working against England.
The Ismailovski Regiment has gone over to Lenin,
the German agent here. The sailors have taken
away from their officers the right to wear epaulettes.
I leave Wednesday for the Crimea to stay with
the Obolenskis at Yalta. I am delighted to leave
158 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 this disorderly town, but shall hate missing the
street fighting, if there is any.
I believe the King of Sweden offered a home to
some members of the Imperial family, which was
really kind. Empress Marie is furious at our
Embassy's not sending her letters to Marlborough
House. She cannot understand the situation.
Poor thing ! How can one expect her to ?
The palace of the Grand Duchess Vladimir at
Tsarskoe Selo has been perquisitionne. This is what
really happened. The housekeeper had by mistake
left the electric light on all night. The military
police came in. Next day the authorities thought
it advisable to make an inventory of the whole
palace. In her safe was found a book which the
Red newspapers allege is a German cipher the
fools ! They have since had to admit it was the
key to the working of the safe, which had only
lately been put in and which, like everything else
in Petrograd, was " made in Germany."
To-day I have seen an officer who went to Stavka
with Guchkov, and yesterday the Foreign Office
representative who works there. Both told me
that the whole Stavka mourn the departure of
General Hanbury- Williams.
I know the new Minister of War. I hope to
get my business through when things are settled.
I have been very busy. The Minister of Finance,
Terestchenko, is our old friend from the south of
France, so I hope for the best.
Saturday, It was daylight at 3.30 a.m. when my train
ay5 ' ' reached Semferopol in the Crimea, the station for
AT YALTA 159
Yalta. No automobile to be got before half-past 1917
six ! Walked about the town, watched the rooks
building, and fed them with bread. I left at 7
to drive fifty-five miles to Yalta. Over the I
mountains and down the other side, through woods
of wild pear, cherry, and crab-apple in blossom,
with the blue sea at my feet. At Alushta, on the
sea-shore, had breakfast. The lilac-trees in flower
everywhere. Arrived at the Villa Mordvina 10.30
a.m. and received by Princess Obolenski. Sergei
was down in the town.
YALTA. Here I am, settled, but the weather Saturday,
most indifferent, and everything a fortnight late May 5> L "
because of this awful winter. The place is not
nearly so pretty as Cannes, or Cap Martin, or
Sicily, but it has its charm. It reminds me of the
Territet end of Lake Geneva not a bit of the
We lead the simple life up at 7 and to bed
at 9. Sergei Obolenski is already better for the
change and rest. The villa very large, clean,
and comfortable. The Empress Marie is staying
at her daughter's* villa eighty-three people in all.
One does not hear of nor see them.
Felix Yusupov is expected back from Petrograd
any day. I have full details now of the event,
but not yet from himself. It was he who killed
the " Unmentionable." Dmitri Pavlovich's declara-
tion on oath was quite true.f
* Grand Duchess Xenia, wife of Grand Duke Alexander
Michailovich and mother of Princess Felix Yusupov.
t See Dec. 31, 1916 (pp. 76-79).
160 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 YALTA. It is such a relief to be in the sun-
shine and flowers after Petrograd. I am leading
a quiet life, which has done me a lot of good,
and think I shall stay here a month. I am quite
happy my hostess is charming, and I have a few
friends in the town.
An entire absence of hypocrisy or pretence
makes Russians so easy to live with. I don't
think Latins or Anglo-Saxons can ever understand
Slavs. Les Slavs se comprennent.
To-day is my Grand Duchess's birthday, and
mine to-morrow. Last year I spent both with
her. I would like to go and see her again, but
from here it is too difficult, and the cross-country
railway journey too complicated, and besides
there is always the fear of doing her harm by
the idea of any communication between different
members of the family. I have given her proof
of my devotion ; now there would only be my
strong desire to see her in her distress.
Felix Yusupov, back from Petrograd, comes
here this afternoon.
This letter is going to Petrograd with Madame
Terestchenko, mother of the Foreign Minister.
One never knows now whether letters arrive
that's " Liberty " !
A few nights ago, a destroyer seized by sailors
at Sebastopol arrived here about midnight. After
landing they commandeered as many automobiles
as they could lay hands on and motored to
Ai Todor, where the Empress Marie is staying with
her daughter, and arrived there between 2 and 3
VISIT TO DOWAGER EMPRESS 161
in the morning. The front door being unlocked, 1917
they went straight to the upper floor, found her
bedroom, went in and ordered her out of bed.
They would not let 'her maid come to her. She
stood up behind a screen in her night attire until
the " perquisition " was completed. A woman
whom they brought with them ripped up the
mattresses, and the whole room was searched
from ceiling to floor. They split open her icons
to see if anything were hidden, and took them
away, and also confiscated her Testament and
her prescription book, and all the letters they
could find, many being from the late King and
Queen of Denmark. This occupied nearly three
hours. Several articles of no great value were
missing afterwards. Then they went into her
daughter's room, who was asleep with her husband.
They made him get out of bed and leave the
room, and put a sailor with a gun and fixed
bayonet on either side of her bed, where she had
Afterwards these devils went on to the Grand
Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich. He was already
dressed when they arrived, received them at
the front door, and said the villa was entirely
at their disposal to search. He and his family
went into the garden. Guards were placed at the
doors and entrances of both villas.
YALTA. Was sitting at the Cafe Florens, built Thursday,
out over the sea where everybody meets in the
morning. Across the road is the confiserie, also
kept by Florens, a Frenchman with a charming
162 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 wife and two daughters. Sergei Dolgoruki came in
with his sister, Countess Fersen and her two
children, and another lady to whom he introduced
me his wife beautiful and full of charm. They
invited me to their villa at Mishor next week.
Friday, YALTA. All round and everywhere there is
only anxiety. Countess Betsy Schuvalov has
just arrived from Kislovodsk, where she saw the
Grand Duchess Vladimir most days, and has
brought me a piteous letter from her in which
she complains most bitterly of her lot. She
has not been out of her house for more than
two months. As she has moved into a smaller
house, she lives entirely in one bed-sitting room.
What can I do r Surely the best thing is to do
nothing ; but how can she be expected to take
this view, never in her life having been denied
She wants me to go from here to the Caucasus,
but in her interest I think it will be best that
I should go first to Petrograd, where at least I
shall be able to ascertain the exact position of the
family during my absence. At this distance one
hears nothing but lies, and on pent se rendre
compte de rien.
Quel type la Comtesse Betsy! She is the only
energetic Russian I have ever met, and would
make a splendid Dictator, not caring a damn for
any one ! To-day she goes to see the Empress
Marie, although she is under arrest.
Wednesday, YALTA. To visit Princess Bariatinski, Countess
' Betsy's sister, for many years head of the Red Cross
REMINISCENCES OF 1914 163
in Yalta, who, regardless of Bolshevik! opposition, 1917
, has stuck courageously to her post. She took me
round the various Red Cross hospitals in Yalta.
I met a Russian lady who had been sent officially
to Germany by the Russian Red Cross of which
the Empress Marie is the head accompanied
by a Danish officer. One day, while waiting
for the German officials to show her over the
camps, she happened to stray into a shed used
as a camp bakery. There, to her horror, she
saw, tied before the ovens, some Russian soldiers
who, for some misdemeanours, were being par-
I recounted to her what I saw in Paris, on the
third Sunday in September 1914, after the Battle
of the Marne. The Germans had retreated, leaving
their wounded on the field. General Gallieni, with
characteristic kindness, had them all brought to
Paris. At that time I was going every day to the
Val de Grace Hospital to see the English wounded,
who were being brought in with the French, and to
visit an Irish soldier who was dying. The sister
who was nursing him said, " I have got some-
thing to show you ! " and took me out of the ward
to a little room on the staircase. Under a napkin
were three watches and the right hand of a child, of
four, taken out of the coat pocket of a German
Felix Yusupov and his wife to tea in the loggia.
Afterwards, in the garden, he told me the whole
story of the murder of Rasputin. "j*
* This wretch was promptly shot. f See p. 83.
164 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 The news of the Vimy Ridge mine is marvellous,
Thursday, , J _, ^
June 14. D. even as given in a short telegram. The Russian
newspapers now hate to admit that we English do
Saturday, YALTA. Princess Serge Dolgoruki died quite
Junei6. L. suc idenly at the age of thirty-six, leaving six
children by a former husband the eldest only
| thirteen and one little Dolgoruka. She has been
unconscious for two days from a mistaken dose of
veronal. She is to be buried on Wednesday.
She was a charming lady, loved by everybody,
and was an intimate friend of the Grand Duchess
Xenia. Her death has greatly upset us all.
Countess Betsy Schuvalov came to fetch me to
go to the funeral service at the little church of
Korrise, near their house, Mishor, which lies in the
midst of oak and laburnum woods near the sea
below the village. We picked up Princess Urussov
and Princess Volkonski, and arrived at Korrise
at 10. The requiem began at once. In South
Russia the coffin is only closed in the cemetery.
The body lay half covered with a cloth-of-silver
pall, and embedded in pink roses. I have never
seen anything more beautiful or more moving.
The six children were there ; they all kissed their
dead mother on entering the church. During the
service a constant stream of village people was
placing flowers near the body. At the end every
one present kissed the dead Princess. It was the
first Russian funeral I had been to.
The Empress Marie and the Grand Duchess
Xenia assisted at the service in a side chapel,
FUNERAL OF PRINCESS DOLGORUKI 165
which they entered by another door, and when 1917
the coffin, borne by friends, was carried out and the
procession started for the cemetery, the Empress,
her daughter, and her sons also followed on foot.
The roads were strewn with pink roses and green
I thought the Empress, whom I had not seen
for more than a year, was looking well better
than I expected she possibly could, though a little
thinner. She walked with a firm step over a very
muddy, slippery road and down a steep hill.
The Grand Duchess appeared ill, tired, and very
sad. Her daughter, Princess Felix Yusupov, told
me she was in indifferent health and much upset
by recent events.
All Yalta was present. The cemetery a mile
away is on a wooded knoll in the middle of a
vineyard. We had hardly arrived when a terrible
thunder-shower began, and we were all drenched
to the skin. The motors and carriages had been
left in the high road, and we had to descend a steep
footpath through the vineyard to the cemetery.
A hired carriage came to fetch the Empress Marie,
her daughter, and two little grandsons, to join
her automobile, which had gone with her own
Cossack on the lower road, at the bottom of the
vineyard. It was too wet to finish the service,
and the priest left to come back later. The
coffin, now covered with its lid, being placed under
a tree, all the friends left and only the family
The weather has been abominable. The cherries,
166 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 magnolias, and white jasmine are wonderful. The
sides of the hills, sloping to the sea, are planted
with tobacco. The cherry-market is a sight to
see. The cherries white, pink, red, and black-
are brought in, in every shape and size of basket,
on every sort of animal, and in every kind of
vehicle. The peasants here are Mohammedan
kind and courteous people, and every village
has its mosque.
One day I offered some cherries to a Tartar
boy, a child of seven who lives by the gate. As
he refused them, I threw them away. Next
time I passed he ran up and kissed my hand, and
said he had not meant to be rude !
Wednesday, YALTA. Terrific thunder-storm all night. Very
l27 ' ' hot morning. Grand Duke Alexander's two sons
came to wish me good-bye ; also Countess Betsy
Schuvalov and Princess Bariatinski. Left at 4
p.m. for Semferopol.
The woods are now carpeted with wild flowers
of every conceivable colour blue predominating
far more beautiful than the Engadine flora !
All along the highway cushat doves in pairs,
pecking gravel, hardly took the trouble to get
out of our way.
Found Nikky Orlov at the station ; went to
the hotel and dined with him. We left by the
3.22 a.m. train.
Thursday, ALEXANDROVSK. 90 Fahrenheit. Nikky
16 28 ' Dt changed here for Kiev. Made the acquaintance
of Alexinski, member of the Second Duma, on
his way back from Sevastopol, where he had been
TRAVELLING UNDER GUARD 167
sent by Kerenski to inquire into and report on 19(7
the sailors' mutiny and their raid on the Imperial
family at Yalta, which had not been authorised
by the Government, the " perquisition " being
made under forged signatures. It is difficult to
get at the truth. He is agreeable and interesting,
and talks good French.
From the train, in brilliant sunshine, saw a hawk
surrounded and pursued by a flock of golden
orioles, with their slow, undulating flight ; I
counted forty-eight, but the hawk got away !
CHARKOV. At important stations the door of Friday,
each corridor carriage is guarded by a sentry with ^ u
fixed bayonet to stop deserters or prevent the
unauthorised entry of soldiers. The man on guard
at my carriage was leaning against the train,
smoking, with his rifle held anyhow. I said in
English, with an air of authority, " You know
you are on duty ; why the hell don't you take
the cigarette out of your mouth and hold yourself
straight ? " The inflexion of my voice and the
atavism of obedience were enough : he instantly
threw away his cigarette and stood to attention !
Arrived Petrograd at 11.30 a.m. No porters Saturday,
and no cabs ; commandeered private two-horse ^ une 3 *
carriage, which took me to the hotel for 5 roubles
five times ordinary price ! My case of Crimean
wine, too heavy for luggage van, travelled under
conductor's bed. Streets filthy.
At 9.20 a procession began to pass down the Sunday,
Nevski. The sailors' band headed it ; everything ^ y Im
was quiet ; but there was panic in our street.
168 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 The supporters of the Government stayed away.
At 12.45 I walked to Donon's and found it shut,
so came back and had luncheon in my room.
At 4.30 walked to the Embassy and had tea with
Lady Georgina, Princess Soltykov, and Madame
Tatistchev, with whom I walked back to the Foreign
Office. Then to the hotel, dined, and took a long
walk, eventually arriving at the Foreign Office,
rinding only the Tatistchevs and Soldatenkov.
Monday, Hearing Grand Duke Boris is no longer under
J y2. . arrest? decided to go to Tsarskoe Selo. Drove
straight to his house and found him at luncheon.
First time I had seen him since the Revolution.
Has left the Army. Afterwards we walked to the
Grand Duke Paul's house and sat in the garden.
Tuesday, At 3 this morning the Cossacks took away the
July 3. D. Anarchist prisoners from the Preobrajenski Bar-
racks. I feel a state of general tension. Walked
with the Ambassador as far as the Winter Palace
and back, to tell him about the situation in the
Wednesday, A procession of soldiers went up the Nevski
July 4 . D. at noon< j n t h e afternoon to visit the Felix
Yusupovs. He showed me exactly where Rasputin
was killed, the blood-stained Polar bear skin, and
how it happened. We then walked to the Nevski,
where Felix left me.
Sunday, Passing the church of the Preobraienski Regi-
JulyS. D. i . . i .
ment, where evening service was being sung by
the soldiers and one priest, went in to see if the
* One of the numerous regiments of which every Emperor
INVENTORIES OF POSSESSIONS 169
sword of Alexander II was still in its glass case ; 1917
only the Emperor's seat under the canopy has gone
and the eagle at the back is covered with red
Here I am back in Petrograd. Telegrams take Sunday,
nine days in Russia and twenty-seven hours to ' uy '
London, and the post one cannot depend on.
It is all very unpleasant here, and I shall be
delighted to get away ; but first I should like to
go and say good-bye to our Grand Duchess.
The journey don't frighten me ; I have done so
many. I hear she is quiet and well. She has
but to lie low and unless the anarchists get the
upper hand has nothing to fear.
The Grand Duke Boris is quite free. I con-
stantly see him. There is always good news
of Dmitri Pavlovich from Teheran, from the
summer quarters of the Legations. He is free
to go where he likes.
Albert Thomas was the most enormous success.
Elihu Root leaves on Tuesday much liked, but
I doubt if his visit is of any real use, as they f
will not listen to anything he proposes. They
want nothing but peace at any price.
Alexander Polovtsov is making an inventory \
of everything in the palace of Gatchina. The ^
private will of the Emperor Alexander III was
found in the drawer of his writing-table and
sent to the archives. Polovstov is working for
the Government, who are cataloguing the contents
of all the Imperial Palaces. Last night it was i
said his brother Peter had given up the Petrograd
170 RUSSIAN DIARY
command a thankless job with
A curious side of the Russian character, in all
classes, is the absence of initiative. I put it
down as the natural result of autocracy. In this
country the least attempt at initiative would
always have been suppressed ; hence it does
not exist. In every Russian there is the latent
dread of the autocrat.
Dined at Tsarskoe Selo with the Grand Duke
Paul. Afterwards motored with the Grand Duke
Boris to Pavlovsk, and then back to Petrograd.
A summer night of wonderful colours the red
rose of sunset fading into the flush of dawn
from crimson into palest pink, and then back to
Woke up at II a.m. No one answered my
bell. Found hotel servants
cooks. Dressed, made my
my bath, swept my room. I did the same for
a rheumatic old lady in my corridor who was
much upset by the strike. Had invited Bibikov
and Putiatin to luncheon. With them to kitchen
and procured what we wanted to eat, and carried
it up to my room. Oddly enough, the coffee-pot
I was carrying dripped all the way to the second
floor. It took two days' hard labour to clean the
marble staircase without carpet in the summer
after the servants came off strike. Luncheon over,
placed all the plates, dishes, etc., on the floor
outside the door. Dinner at Felix Yusupov's
in the room where Rasputin was killed ; sat next
on strike, except
own bed, cleaned
TURMOIL IN POPULAR QUARTER 171
to Lady Muriel Paget. Took an izvoschik home ; 1917
paid him a rouble for a 4O-kopek fare. He called
me a Jew !
There is quite a different feeling in Petrograd July 13. L.
since the advance in Galicia. Let's hope they
won't run into a trap or lose what they have got.
Arthur Henderson leaves to-day. What do you
think of " Sonia " ? I suppose it will become a
classic of the years just before the war.
The Ambassador thanked me for news I had Monday,
sent him in the morning " just what he wanted
Dined with Edward Cunard and Guy Colebrooke,
both of the Embassy, in the Olives' house, where
I had been on March 10. It is at the far end of
the town, only a hundred yards from the Tauride
Palace, where the Duma meets. I left at 9.15 p.m.
on foot with Cunard. The streets were quite
normal. He accompanied me down the Sergeivskia
a little way. When I got to the Liteiny the
main artery from the popular quarter across the
Neva I found it all in effervescence. No trams
always a bad sign. Nobody seemed to know if
anything had happened or was going to happen
many people spoke to me. Everybody was asking
everybody else what was on.
I walked down the Mochovaia and a motor-car
full of students and Grenadier soldiers passed me
and stopped at No. 28, where I saw several rifles
being brought out, put into the automobile, which
turned round and left at full speed. At the corner
of the Fontanka Bridge and the Cinistelli Circus,
172 RUSSIAN DIARY
the same automobile came up, stopped a motor-car
with a lady and gentleman, pulled them out, not
too roughly ; half of the armed men got into it,
and the two cars started off again at full speed.
I continued on foot to the Hotel de 1' Europe
and telephoned what I had seen to Lady Georgina.
She told me that motor-lorries full of armed men
had been coming over the Troitza Bridge in front
of the Embassy for the last hour. I then walked
down the Nevski to go to the Yusupovs' Palace.
It was the Princess's birthday. The Nevski was
emptying fast, though there were still some strollers
and some sightseers. Armoured cars and motor-
lorries with armed men were tearing up and down.
Three tiny children were dancing round together,
excitedly singing out, " Revoluzion, Revoluzion ! "
I left the Nevski to go down the Moika, which was
quite calm. A good many diners were coming out
of the restaurants.
The Marienski Palace Place, the seat of the
Provisional Government, was quite empty ; on
the steps of the palace nine soldiers were talking.
Continuing down the Moika to the Yusupov Palace,
found my hosts packing off the Grand Duchess
Marie Pavlovna II, Mita Benckendorff, and Prince
Palei, for the station to take the train to Tsarskoe
Selo. They had come up to dine and spend the
evening, but it was thought better they should
leave at once. Till I came the only news they had
had was by telephone ; everything was quite
quiet in this quarter.
Many guests had come after dinner, like me, to
TERROR OF THE COSSACKS 173
hear Sacha Markarov, the great guitarist, play. 1917
A young lady thought fit to sit on the window-sill
of the ground-floor drawing-room, and in a few
minutes a crowd had gathered outside. It was
thought better to close all the iron shutters on the
In the meantime a regiment, armed, with all
its officers, marched down the Moika on the
opposite side, halted, and stood along the balustrade
of the canal. I afterwards heard that, near the
Nevski end of the Moika, while this regiment
was marching along, the cry of " Cossacks " was
raised, and they all fled into the nearest houses
and courtyards. Many passers-by were knocked
down and trampled upon, and my informant was
bruised a good deal as the soldiers rushed through
the narrow opening of a big door into the court-
yard. Such is the inherent terror both soldiers
and the people have of the Cossacks !
We all left the drawing-room on the ground
floor and went to the apartment on the top floor
which are their sleeping-rooms until those on
the ground floor are finished. From these win-
dows we could see the regiment, which eventually
I went downstairs to the dining-room in the
basement, where Lady Muriel Paget had in the
meantime arrived and, with the other guests,
had come down to the dining-room in the base-
ment. I determined to go back to the street.
Lady Muriel asked me whether I would see her
home ; I said I would, provided she did every-
174 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 thing I told her. Avoiding all open spaces and
broad streets, as I had learnt to do in the First
Revolution, and keeping close to the houses,
we made for the Fontanka Canal. Presently
we found an izvoschik, who agreed for ten roubles
to go wherever we wanted.
As we arrived at the Sadovia we ran up against
a demonstration of workpeople and soldiers,
which just prevented our crossing. They were all
very excited and singing the " Marseillaise."
Lady Muriel preferred to get out of the izvoschik
and stand near the houses, so that in case of
a rush she might be able to go inside. Some
izvoschiki came up, and one of the drivers began
to complain loudly of being held up by the pro-
cession. He was instantly surrounded by the
mob and pulled off his box. A few minutes after
a panic seized the procession whether from fear
. of the Cossacks or of machine-guns I don't know ;
I heard no firing. All the izvoschiki skedaddled.
I managed to tumble out of mine and get on
the sidewalk, and for the moment I lost Lady
An old woman was hobbling along on two sticks,
which were knocked out of her hands in the
rush, and she fell on her knees. I picked her
up, gave her her sticks, and propped her against
the wall. I then called out to Lady Muriel,
and fortunately she heard me. I told her to
lie down near the wall, as there was no courtyard
near to get into ; but on second thoughts I hurried
her down the street and we found one.
FIGHTING IN THE NEVSKI PROSPEKT 175
In the meantime our izvoschik had disappeared, 1917
and as soon as the demonstration had thinned
down we managed to cross the street and walked
on, eventually reaching the Anglo-Russian Hos-
pital at 1.15 a.m. A lot of wounded from the
fighting in the Nevski had been brought in, and
we went straight up to the wards to see them.
The doctors and sisters were much concerned
at the non-appearance of Lady Muriel, as on
their telephoning to the Yusupov Palace they
were" told she had left there more than an hour
The fighting in the Nevski was between Bol-
shevik soldiers and the Cossacks, who had been
drawn up across the street at the corner of
Vladimir Prospekt. The soldiers lay flat in the
middle of the roadway and fired on the Cossacks.
No sooner did the Cossacks reply than the cowards
crept to the side and bolted into the nearest
houses. Thank God, some of the brutes were
After I had had some tea I left the hospital
and walked down the Nevski to the Hotel de
1'Europe. I saw only one shop window broken
a cigar-shop. I met many stretchers with
wounded people on them, and there was a great
crowd on the Sadovia the Nevski was empty.
I got back to the hotel at 2.15 a.m. and went
Whilst walking about in the morning heard Tuesday,
fierce shooting, but did not get under fire. During J uly I7>
luncheon in the hotel a battle took place in the
176 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Sadovia close by ; the bullets rattled down on
the roof opposite. Hand-grenades were being
used by the Bolsheviki all over Petrograd. To
the Embassy and talked with the Ambassador
privately. Dined at night off tea and jam, as
all the hotel cooks had left.
Wednesday, Violent rain all night, which swept the Bol-
July 18. D. T ., . rr ! XT , ,
sheviki off the streets. No trams and only an
occasional izvoschik. My old music-seller opposite
opened his shop at 10.30 for a few minutes only.
All shops closed. Dined at the Polovtsovs, and
heard that the Bolsheviki were to be " polished
off " to-night. This would have been done last
night but for the violent rain. Went to the
Embassy to warn the Ambassador that all the
bridges are to be opened, in order to cut off
the Bolsheviki from their strongholds, which are
the workmen's quarters on the other side of the
river. Returned to the Polovtsovs, where we
played bridge till 3 a.m., waiting for news which
Thursday, Early in the morning Lady Georgina telephoned
' me they had been warned at 5.30 that the Peter-
Paul Fortress might bombard the town at any
moment. Dressed quickly and started off at
once to the Embassy. As I crossed the Champ
de Mars a number of soldiers at the Pavlovsk
Barracks, sitting in the windows with rifles,
fired from time to time across the Champ de Mars
over my head into the Summer Garden. I was
not going to turn back for them. I pulled myself
together and walked across the Champ de Mars
PETER-PAUL FORTRESS CAPITULATES 177
and entered the Embassy by the adjoining court- 1917
yard of Princess Soltykov's house. Went straight
up to the first floor, found the Ambassador on
the balcony surrounded by his secretaries instead
of sitting in the cellar, as they had been told
to do eagerly watching the troops advancing
on their stomachs across the Troitzka Bridge.
Terestchenko, the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
had placed rooms in the Foreign Office at the
disposal of the Ambassador and his family, but
they refused to leave.
About half-past eleven a message came to say
that the house of the dancer, Kchessinskaia, which
had been looted and taken over by the Bolsheviki
at the beginning of the Revolution, had been
captured by the Government troops, and at
ten minutes past one an officer came to say
that the Peter-Paul Fortress, which was being
held by the Soldiers and Workmen against
the Government forces, had capitulated. For
the first time since the Revolution the midday
gun was not fired from the fortress as usual
to-day. In the evening I saw Cossacks on
white horses escorting Kerenski back from the
station to the Winter Palace on his return from
Severe fighting round the Nicolai railway station. Friday,
Changes in the Cabinet. At midnight some one J ul y 20 - D -
telephoned to say a battle was going on by the
Palace Bridge, opposite the Winter Palace. Opened
my windows but could hear nothing ; too tired
to dress again.
178 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 In last night's battle the Bolsheviki, who had
collected at the end of the Palace Bridge, were
surrounded by Cossacks and cut into small pieces.
I had a little piece of Bolshevik brought me
later ! The bad news from the Front, which
I have known since Thursday, is now published.
Monday, To the Polovtsovs after dinner. The General
came in and told us Lenin had not yet been
found. I suggested to search the Vladimir Palace,
which I know has been a nest of revolutionaries
for the last three months.
July 25. L. We have had five days' hell. Tuesday was
worse than any day in the Revolution, but it
is not over yet. We must wade through a sea
of blood before it can be ended. Perhaps nothing
will happen to me why should it ? But if I
" go away " don't regret me ; I am so tired
I want to sleep !
The Cossacks are to be buried on July 28.
The news from the Front is too terrible to think
of two Army Corps surrendered, and all the
towns lost which were so lately won. Thank
God, the Huns will find nothing to eat. I know
what that is, as we are starving here. Tarnopol
is a great disaster, and really last night, after
four days' anarchy, when that news came, we
were all disheartened. You have no idea how
tired it makes one ; I sleep eight hours, only to
wake up much more tired. There is nothing
to eat, either ; I am always hungry.
For the moment all is quiet here, but there
may yet be a pitched battle between those who
IMPERIAL FAMILY IN CAPTIVITY 179
want to maintain order and carry on the war, 1917
and those who don't want to do either.
I have been back three weeks from the Crimea, July 27. L.
and yesterday I went to Tsarskoe Selo to see the
Grand Duke Paul. There is but little news of
the Emperor and his children. It is only when
by chance somebody knows one of the officers
who have been on guard that any direct news
is got ; but this is known they are all in ex-
cellent health and at work in their kitchen-garden,
except the Empress, who does not go out. There
is a triple cordon of guards, and they are not
allowed to pass the first line, which rather restricts
their exercise ; but, after all, it is for their
safety ; and if you had been through what we
have been through this last week, you would
be glad to have guards to protect you.
The Commandant of the Palace is an upright
officer and a gentleman, and he does all in his
power to meet their wishes.
Last night Prince Putiatin came to see me.
He was twenty-three years in the Imperial house-
hold and thirty-two days in the fortress. Last
week he lost his father-in-law, Admiral Paltov,
one of the oldest admirals in the Imperial Navy.
At the funeral service, Mademoiselle Hendrikov,
the Empress's maid of honour, came with a
message of condolence from her, which shows
that they know all that passes, and are allowed
to communicate with friends on matters of personal
interest. The Prince confirmed the excellent
character of the Commandant of the Palace,
i8o RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 I have not written to you since my return,
because till yesterday I had nothing but vague
reports to give you, although I have been several
times to Tsarskoe Selo. I received a letter from
Kislovodsk from the Grand Duchess Vladimir.
She is quite free in that town and is no longer
molested, but I fear her health has suffered from
her three months' arrest ; she complains of her
heart. Before I leave Russia I hope to be able
to go and see her again.
We have passed through a terrible week.
It began at 9.30 on Monday evening, July 16,
and the last street battle was on Saturday,
July 21, at midnight. I think Tuesday was worse
than any day in the First Revolution ; then
the people were out for an ideal, this week it
is pure anarchy, combined with nothing to eat.
Thursday morning was a critical moment for
the Embassy. They were all warned at 5.30
to be ready to leave. At n, the house of the
dancer opposite, occupied by the anarchists, capi-
tulated ; and at a quarter to one, the Fortress.
The weather was very hot and stuffy ; I think
revolutions are better in the winter.
But all of this is nothing compared with the
news from the Front, where the soldiers are
laying down their arms wholesale. History tells
us the Russians have never won a real war
only wars for enlarging their frontiers. Formerly
the Russian soldier gave his life for the Tsar,
and went into the trenches singing his hymn
that he would die for the Tsar. Now he is for-
KERENSKI IN WINTER PALACE 181
bidden to sing that hymn. He has no " Little 1917
Father " to die for, and asks himself, " What
am I fighting for ? "
Siberians who, by the way, have proved them-
selves first-rate soldiers live much farther from
Warsaw than Warsaw is from Bordeaux, and
they would much sooner be tilling their land
than fighting Germans who live thousands of
versts away. All this has been preached to
them on the Front by paid agents of Germany.
There are twenty-four million men under arms
in Russia, and one has only to look at the map
to see where the larger proportion must come
from. If Moscow had been attacked, as in
1812, it would have been a different thing. The
Ambassador is in despair, though but for him
I do not believe any offensive would have been
made since the Revolution ; and since Albert
Thomas left he has had to work single-handed.
The new French Ambassador will not for some little
time have much influence. It is heart-rending.
I go to-morrow to Kislovodsk to see the Grand July 27. L.
Duchess Vladimir and spend her fete with her.
I shall be away nine days six in the train and
three there. On Monday I go to Tsarskoe Selo
to get any messages and news from Grand Duke
Boris for his mother.
The war news was very bad last night. Kerenski
who has Jewish blood is living in the Winter
Palace. There is a question of sending the Em-
peror and his family to Siberia to a town, Tobolsk,
400 versts from a railway.
1 82 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 I believe the Emperor and his family have
J U Y 2 9. keen sent to Sib er i a . I heard this last night.
I wonder what effect it will have on the people.
I think Kerenski will make himself dictator.
Left Nicolai station, Petrograd, 9.30 for Kis-
lovdsk in the Caucasus. General Offley Shaw
and Lieutenant Grundy, Persian Rifles, travelled
in the next compartment to me on their way
to Tiflis and Persia respectively.
Monday, ROSTOV-ON-DON. The bridge across the Don,
juyao. . swe p t away by the great floods in the month
of May, has now been repaired. All day passing
through endless acres of undulating ground planted
with sunflowers. Seen from the north, the effect
was a pale yellow-greeny ocean, which, as I looked
back, changed to lakes of golden sunshine as
they faced the sun.
Tuesday, KISLOVODSK. Arrived 9 p.m. All the hotels
July 31. D. jkjk Left m y luggage at the station and drove
to the Grand Duchess Vladimir's villa. Walked
unexpectedly into the dining-room, where I found
her still at table after dinner with the Grand Duke
Andre, Princess Mestcherski, and her equerries.
My unannounced arrival evidently pleased her ;
she made me very welcome, ordered dinner for
me, and asked me to stay in the villa. All
were happy to hear news from the north, and
we remained round the table talking till mid-
Thursday, KISLOVODSK. The Grand Duchess received me
Aug. 2. D. - n j^ ca fo net & e travail, and we counted the
money which I had brought her in my boots
AT KISLOVODSK 183
from Petrograd ! It was in revolutionary thousand- 1917
rouble notes, which she had never seen before.
Afterwards walked with her to the hill leading
to the town to meet her son. On our way back
an unknown lady curtsied to the Grand Duchess.
Ever since her release she has received marks
of sympathy and courtesy from all classes. She
took me for a drive through the Cossack villages
where we had been on Easter Monday. After tea
I walked up the valley alongside the river of
Kislovodsk, which reminded me of the Lichtenthal
Allee, Baden-Baden. It is tidy and well kept.
A pair of golden orioles sang at 7 a.m. Ordered Friday,
a cake and bread to take back to Petrograd. In Aug * 3< Dm
the afternoon drove with the Grand Duchess
up to the Blue Rocks, where there is a wonderful
view. She told me that at a children's picnic
in the mountains, at a place called " The Eagles'
Nest," an enormous golden eagle planed above
them. The children shouted out, " Aeroplane !
Aeroplane ! " So machinery displaces nature !
As I walked in the town later, was addressed in
perfect English by a young Cossack who was
riding, and whom we had met during our drive.
Before dinner the Grand Duchess's presents were
laid out on a table in her salon. I gave tuberoses
as I did last year.
KISLOVODSK. The Grand Duchess's fete-day, Saturday,
St. Mary Magdalen. Woke up at 6 by my golden Aug< 4 * D '
orioles. At 12.30 the priest came and sang
Te Deum. We sat down twenty-eight to luncheon
on the veranda at three tables.
1 84 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 KISLOVODSK. Fetched the cake and bread I
Aug. 5^' D. h a d had baked, to take to Petrograd. Early
dinner on account of me. Left at 8.30 for
Petrograd. The Grand Duchess and her guests
waved to me in the train from the veranda.
Wednesday, TVER. From the railway-carriage gave a beggar
boy white bread the first he had seen for three
Thursday, Arrived at 1.15 a.m. at Nicolai station, Petro-
grad sixteen hours late ! To luncheon with
Grand Duke Boris at Tsarskoe Selo. A long talk
with him alone.
Friday, To dine at the Embassy, also General Sir Charles
Barter, General Knox, and Lord Ilchester (King's
Messenger). Later with Ilchester to Yusupov
Palace, where the gipsies sang.
Saturday, The Emperor and his family are still at Tsarskoe
Aug. II. JD. ri 1 1 1 ft
belo ; no one knows the reason of the postpone-
ment of their journey to Siberia. He was told
about it and made no objection. It is true the
Empress can't walk, but I 'doubt that being
the cause. It had been arranged for Thurday,
July 26. Everything seems quiet for the moment,
but last night, coming away from the Yusupovs',
there was a rifle-shot quite close to me. Nowadays
a single shot can bring on a battle. One is
almost more apprehensive of calm than of noise,
but the Ambassador goes on Thursday for five
days' rest to Finland, so I conclude he is not
too worried for the moment.
Want of bread brought on the Revolution, and
the same may bring a counter-revolution. There
DEPARTURE OF IMPERIAL FAMILY 185
is nothing to eat : I suffer most from the absence 1917
Returning home at an early hour this morning Saturday,
down the Morskaia, a sentry called out something Aug * " D '
I did not understand. As I continued, he rushed
at me with a fixed bayonet, presented to my breast.
I would not go back and remained standing erect.
Gulescu, the celebrated chef d'orchestre, who had
been playing at our supper-party, driving by,
jumped out of his carriage and explained matters.
He interpreted for me : " Better go to the Front
and kill Germans than a peaceable ally ! "
The Emperor and his family left Tsarskoe Selo Tuesday,
station this morning at 5.35 a.m.
Fetched Madame Tatistchev from the Foreign Wednesday,
Office to go to the church * of the Peter-Paul Aug> I5< D '
Fortress. The custodian told me that as many
people come now as before the Revolution to
put candles on the tomb of the Emperor Paul,
which has always been an object of veneration,
as the people believe it will bring back their '
sons safe from the war. I put two candles on
the tomb, one for the Grand Duchess Vladimir,
and one for myself, and afterwards we went
on to the new church, where I put a candle
on the tomb of the Grand Duke Vladimir. From
there we drove to the convent where John of
Cronstadt f was buried. At the Embassy told
the Ambassador details of the Emperor's de-
* The burial-place of the Emperors from Peter the Great
to Alexander III, when the new church was required.
t Religious adviser of Alexander III shortly before his
1 86 RUSSIAN DIARY
parture, whicn I had from an eye-witness. On
the Palace Quay saw Kerenski in the Emperor's
Rolls-Royce, talking with a friend.
Sunday, It is a long time since I have written to you.
At times I have only had little bits of news ;
and I have been at Kislovodsk.
I have the facts about the departure of the
Emperor and family from one who was at the
station. The train was to have started at 2 a.m.,
but owing to the quantity of luggage, which
preceded them in a separate train, they did not
leave till 5.35. The Guards gave the Emperor
the salute when he left the palace. The Emperor.
the Grand Duke Alexei, and the Empress, drove
in an open automobile to the station, the four
Grand Duchesses in another ; they were in white
dresses. Their heads were shaved after the
measles. The Emperor lit cigarettes incessantly,
and threw them away. The Empress had tears
in her eyes. The Grand Duke Alexei cried
poor little boy ! You mustn't forget they had
been waiting to leave since two o'clock, for over
three hours. The four Grand Duchesses showed
The Grand Duke Michael motored yesterday
from Gatchina to his cousin Boris's house in
Tsarskoe Selo, where he left his wife, Countess
Brassov. He then went to the palace and saw
the Emperor ; they stood up for a little more
than five minutes talking together. Kerenski
and the officer on guard were in the room all
the time and looked out of the window. The
THE IMPERIAL FAMILY
COUNT BENCKENDORFF 187
Grand Duke Michael asked to see the Empress ; 1917
it was not allowed. The brothers embraced.
The Grand Duke Boris told me that when his
cousin came back from the interview he was
so upset he couldn't speak. Count Benckendorff
some days later asked Kerenski a question a
propos of something relating to the palace, and
Kerenski answered : " They will be back here in
The climate of Tobolsk is good, especially
in the autumn. The last 400 versts down the
river is done on American steamers, which are
quite comfortable. Convicts were never sent
there. I think it will make a bad impression
on the Russian people that Siberia should have
been chosen for the Imperial residence, as the
Emperor now becomes a victim instead of a
prisoner. If it had been this side of the Urals
less impression would have been made, but that
the Lord's Anointed should be sent to Siberia
may hurt the amour-propre of the people.
They were to have left on July 26, but at the
last moment the departure was cancelled. Count
Elie Leonidovich Tatistchev,* le plus brave des
braves, has gone in the place of Benckendorff,
who is suffering from his eyes. The Empress
left a letter to thank him for his services of twenty-
three years he is the only person whom she is
known to have thanked.
* When Kerenski sent for him and asked whether he would
go to Siberia he said, " I must go wherever you order me."
"It is to accompany the Emperor to Siberia." He replied,
" I will do whatever the Emperor commands." And he went.
1 88 RUSSIAN DIARY
J 9 J 7 They are accompanied by Markarov, who looks
after the palaces, works of art, and archives.
He is the good genius of Kerenski. The Empress
says, " We have not suffered enough for all the
faults we have committed." To me it seems
that, through her fault, husband, children, family,
and country have all suffered more than enough.
General Gourko is in a dry room in the Peter-
Paul Fortress, and his wife has been allowed
to join him there. There is personal spite in
his detention. I went yesterday to the church
in the fortress, where the Emperors are buried.
All is in perfect order and the lights burning
on the different tombs. The tomb of the Emperor
Paul was ablaze with candles, and on it was a
large bunch of white lilies. He has always been
looked upon by the people as a martyr, and
prayers to him are believed to bring back alive
and well those at the war. They assured me
the Revolution makes no difference to the popular
devotion. The Russians respect the dead, if
they do not the living.
I went on July 28 to Kislovodsk, where the
Grand Duchess Vladimir is still staying. I
took money to her, as one can trust nobody
nowadays. I arrived quite unexpectedly and
stayed in her villa for five nights. Although
it is quite small they managed to make room
for me. I was there in time for her fete, August 4.
After the le Deum in the villa, the old parish
priest said a few words : "As Mary Magdalen
was the first to know of the Resurrection of
PRINCESS IRENE YUSUPOV 189
Christ, so may you, after all your suffering, be 1917
the first to know that the order of former days
has come back to Russia." It was very brave
of the old man to dare say so much. The Grand
Duchess was much hnue. She is better in health
now that she has been released after three months'
detention, and is taking baths for her heart.
She lives with a few old servants and had the
happy idea of getting a dozen Cossacks from
a village in the hills all of one family to pro-
tect her. They give no bother, and do their
two hours' duty at the entrance of the villa and
garden, and are devoted and attentive. The
Grand Duchess asked me, if the occasion presented
itself, to assure the King and Queen of her deepest
affection, and to say how she envied everybody
who lived in a country where there were police-
men. She has applied for permission to travel
if it should be necessary for some personal or
family reason ; the Grand Duke Boris already
has this permission.
The news from the Crimea has not been good,
but I expect you know all about that. Princess
Irene Yusupov went to see Kerenski in the
Winter Palace in the apartments of Emperor
Alexander III to ask that that Emperor's widow
should not be ill-treated ! I think it was brave
of her ; there is so little of her ! But she told
me that, once in the room, she was no longer
frightened, and although at first Kerenski de-
clared he could do nothing, he ended by acceding
to all she asked. She is a plucky little thing and
190 RUSSIAN DIARY
19*7 clever. Kerenski did not kiss her hand nor
open the door for her, because she got to it before
he did. He did not keep her waiting. The
result of all this will be at least we hope so
that the Empress Marie will come to Finland
and eventually get to Denmark.
The Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaievich is still
under arrest in the Crimea, and the Empress
Marie, though no longer under arrest, is not
allowed to leave the house. A telegram to that
effect came to the Yusupovs while I was lunching
there ; they left the same night for the Crimea.
I think this is all my news. I am going to-night
to General Headquarters at Moghilev, and may
be away for a few days ; afterwards I hope to
be able to leave for England, so please do not
trouble to acknowledge this letter.
The Government gets weaker every day ; they
missed the psychological moment for gaining
complete control after the Bolshevik Revolution
(July 1 8), which, by the way, was a most unpleasant
experience. Kornilov is a strong little man, and
we may yet see him at the head of a military
dictatorship. I foresee much trouble ahead and
Monday, Arrived Moghilev 1.40 p.m. ; Staff automobile
Aug. 20. D. to meet me< TQ H6tel Bristol? ^ere the Allied
officers are lodged. From there to the Aviation
H.Q., where the General-in-Command, a Caucasian,
immediately received me.
Tuesday, MOGHILEV. To the Catholic Cathedral, endowed
Aug. 21. D. ^ t ^ Empress Catherine, the Metropolitan
AT MOGHILEV 191
Church of all the Catholics in Russia an im- 1917
posing edifice. Saw the Caucasian General, who
was most courteous and interested. Had a large
sack made and filled with white bread to take
to Petrograd. After dinner drove over the Dnieper
Bridge through the lower town, and along the
Moscow chausste for a couple of miles. This is
the best road in Russia, specially made with a
steam-roller for the Emperor when he took over
the Supreme Command from his cousin.
MOGHILEV. At the Wireless H.Q. met my Wednesday,
Caucasian General, who took me into the officers' ug ' 22 '
room, presented me to them, and scolded them
for not looking after me properly. Back to the
Bristol to luncheon with the Allied Staff, at the
invitation of General Sir Charles Barter. Sat
between him and Mordveno, an amusing Russian,
in whose villa I stayed at Yalta with the Obo-
lenskis. Beyond him was the Rumanian General,
in great spirits because of the Rumanian good
news and resistance to Mackensen. At the head
of the table was the Italian Captain Massengha,
a friend of all my friends, agreeable and gay.
Our General was on his left. Opposite us were
two French officers, a major and a captain. The
major excessively nice, a Frenchman at his very
best. At the other end of the table were Major
Neilson and Lieut. Porters, of our Staff. The lun-
cheon was not bad, although the General complained.
Compared with Petrograd, I thought it delicious.
After luncheon he took me to his room, gave me
a cigar, and told me many interesting things.
192 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 General Barter is the right man in the right
place at the present moment. At Stavka, owing
to him, England has it all her own way. He is
the only Staff representative asked by Kornilov
to go to Moscow for the Conference : I was told
by the other Allied representatives that he has
the complete confidence of Kornilov, whom he
sees twice a day and plays cards with. The
French are rather out of favour, from their ex-
pressing too openly their opinion of the disgraceful
conduct of the Russian Army.
Lieut. Porters came to the door to see me off
in the car ordered for me by the General. At
the station, three versts away, found my reserved
compartment in the Stavka carriage, which was
attached to the Kiev express, guarded by an
N.C.O. with two soldiers. Travelled with George
Popovich, cousin of the King of Montenegro, on
his way from visiting Kornilov, whom he had
known all his life, having been brought up in
He told me that one regiment wrote to Kornilov,
" Please give us a flag and take away the Red
Flag, for the Germans taunt us and say a red
flag is the sign of a house of ill-fame ! "
Aug. 22. Kornilov has for his bodyguard a squadron
Narrative. of Turkestan Cossacks brought from the Cau-
casian Front. They run small, of a strong Mon-
golian type, and are terrifying to look at, with
enormous sheepskin caps, generally brown, a
few white worn at the back of the head, so
that the long fur falls away at an angle. There
KORNILOV'S BODYGUARD 193
was only one tall one amongst them. Their 1917
breeches are of a faded rose-colour, and they
carry yataghans as sharp as razors they can
shave their arms with them ! besides a dagger
and revolver. They are wonderful riders, looking
as though they are one with their horses. They
put the fear of God into the Russian infantry
soldiers ; if one of them approaches a knot of
soldiers talking politics, the knot fades away
like snow before the sun. A woman who had
lived with one transferred her affections to a
comrade : her first admirer threw her over
the bridge into the Dnieper, where she was
drowned. No one said or did anything, or thought
Sitting in the public garden opposite my hotel,
where the crows and jackdaws come back in
hundreds to roost at night in the elms, waking
me up every morning at daylight when they go
off to the plains for the day, I noticed a pretty
girl of the working class talking to her friend
who keeps the newspaper kiosk at the corner.
A knot of Cossacks standing near were evidently
attracted by her, but she took no heed of them
until the tall, good-looking one with a white
sheepskin cap joined them* She moved towards
them, and there was an animated conversation
lasting nearly an hour, with the result that she
and he walked away together, leaving the rest
furious and scowling. Later in the day she
was wearing a new black silk dress ; in the
evening I met them on the chaussee in a three-
194 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 horse izvoscbik, and next morning they were
sitting close together on a bench in the garden.
Friday, PETROGRAD. No milk. Failing to find Ambas-
sador yesterday on arrival, called to-day to give
him my Stavka news.
Friday, Have just seen a procession with Red Flag,
ug ' 24 ' ' so I suppose we are in for more riots a great
nuisance. The Government weakens daily, and
at the appointed time Kornilov will come at the
head of a regenerated army to save Petrograd.
If he succeeds, then an Emperor in three months,
I say !
Aug. 25. Last night all the Ministers left for the Moscow
Narrative. Conference in four ordinary trains between 10.30
p.m. and 11.20 p.m. Kerenski, who had declined
the companionship of Terestchenko, left by himself
in the Emperor's train, arrived in Moscow at
1 1. 2 a.m. and drove straight to the Kremlin.
Kornilov, who had come unexpectedly to Petro-
grad on Thursday night from Moghilev, passed
several hours closeted with Kerenski in the Winter
Palace, returning at one o'clock in the morning
on Friday to Moghilev, and leaving the same
evening for Moscow, which was reached on Satur-
day afternoon. He was accompanied from the
station by more automobiles than Kerenski. He
brought his escort of Turkestan Cossacks with
him and drove straight to the Iberski Chapel,
where is the miraculous icon of the Iberia Virgin,
at the entrance to the Kremlin, and where the
Emperors always prayed before entering the
Kremlin. The Cossacks cleared the people away
KERENSKI AS DICTATOR 195
and made a line on each side, and Kornilov went 1917
in alone to pray. At a meeting of the Generals
who had come to Moscow for the Conference
they implored Kornilov to give them a Chief or
an Emperor, or else to make himself head of the
On the first day of the Conference Kerenski
had a military and naval representative standing
on either side of his chair. This the Reds objected
to as ridiculous ; he did not do it again. His
speech was so unintelligible that it had later to be
dictated to the Press representatives.
When he travels by train he often orders the
speed to be increased, regardless of the utter con-
fusion it causes all down the lines he is travelling
on. The Emperor the Autocrat never did this ;
he was far too considerate of the convenience of
others and of the welfare of his country.
I must rest. I am nearly as thin as when Sunday,
I was so ill ; there is nothing to eat here no Aug ' 26< L *
butter for four days. I don't mind. I don't
complain. Je constate. I had to go to Stavka
glorious weather, and I enjoyed my visit.
Some one says, " The fear of Russia is worse
than Russia," and I am sure it is true. During
the actual riots I thoroughly enjoy the street
fighting, but I am worried to death while it
threatens, and dead tired after it is over.
I write often to Dmitri Pavlovich, who is in
Teheran. Felix Yusupov and his wife have gone
back to the Crimea better so. I gave him a good
talking to. I dine two or three times a week
196 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 with Boris Vladimirovich. He has the good heart
of his grandfather. I expect bad times again
Tuesday, Bacher, of the Entente, the newspaper which
renders the cause of the Allies such good service,
came to consult me. To Embassy ; His Ex-
cellency and Lady Georgina, just leaving for
Islands, asked me to accompany them. I ex-
plained Bacher's newspaper scheme to him. Met
a dead man, propped up in an izvosckik. Nothing
surprises one in Russia !
Aug. 28. L. Since writing to you last week I have spent
three days at General Headquarters at Moghilev,
and I thought perhaps my impressions from there
might interest any who read this letter.
Kornilov came to Petrograd to see Kerenski ;
the beastly Soviet of Workmen and Soldiers
wishes to turn out Kornilov because they see
he is gradually gaining the hearts of the troops
that is to say, already the 600,000 Cossacks, the
cavalry, and the greater part of the south-western
Kerenski's opening speech at the Moscow Con-
ference was a great failure ; it was in the same
strain as he has been accustomed to use towards
truculent soldiers. His course has now nearly
run. Things are very different from what they
were twelve years ago. After 1905, by- the sup-
port of the Army all came straight ; now the
loss of the Army on the second day of the Revo-
lution brought about the fall of the Emperor.
A short time ago the Grand Duke Michael went
GENERAL KORNILOV 197
as a simple citizen to the cinema at Gatchina. 1917
He was recognised by the soldiers, who sang the
hymn, "God save the Tsar." He fled, and
rightly too. At a theatre in Moscow they began
to play the " Marseillaise " ; the people cried
"Davolny" ("Enough"), and then the band
played " God save the Tsar."
Kornilov's mother is a native of Turkestan.
He is always supposed to have been with the
Boers in their war with England. When asked
about this, he smiles and says, " Not at all.
I was in plain clothes in the North- West Provinces
of India, working for the Russian Secret Service."
He talks English perfectly. Thousands , of letters
reach him from the Front. An artillery battery,
asking his permission to fire on an infantry
regiment near them, wrote, " They call them-
selves Fils de la Patrie, but they are really Fils
Our War Office certainly made a most lucky
choice in Sir Charles Barter, qui s'impose, which
is exactly what is always required in Russia now
more than ever.
I have heard no private news direct from
Tobolsk, but I hear that the former Governor's
palace where the Emperor and his family are
has very few rooms, though the park around is
fairly large. An English merchant whom I know
has been there, and tells me the climate is not
bad except for being actually in Asia it has
none of the disadvantages of Siberia.
I am glad to see the firm support our Ambas-
198 RUSSIAN DIARY
sador always receives in the House of Commons.
He has been so wonderful, bearing all the weight
of the Allies on his shoulders, and receiving all
the knocks pour quatre. I can't think why the
Government does not send for him to come to
England and give them first-hand information
of the exact position. Besides, poor man ! he
deserves a long rest. There is an epidemic of
dysentery in Petrograd and in many towns ;
he had a touch last week. The weather is not
too hot now like September in Italy. I hope
to leave in a fortnight, and shall be pleased to
quit this distressful country, though I have
an immense love for Russia. There is nothing
to eat in Petrograd no milk, no bread, no
I hear of a pitched battle in Riga between
the Letts and the Russian soldiers. The Germans
send over three-rouble notes to the Russian
trenches in the night. It is thought that the
notes are made in Germany, but that I am not
sure of. Perhaps even before I leave things may
come to a head, from something I have just
heard in which case I shall see Petrograd again
soaked in blood ; but it is better so. The trouble
must be ended and done with, and great evils
require great remedies.
P.S. To-day is fete. I looked into the Votive
Church which is built over the place where
Alexander II was assassinated. It was full, and
at the end of the service, as before the Revolution,
the clergy went to the west end of the church
REQUIEM SERVICE FOR ALEXANDER II 199
to say the prayers for the dead Emperor on the 1917
spot where under a canopy hung with many
lamps burning night and day the pavement is
kept exactly as it was in the street in 1880. At
the moment when they said the prayer for the
repose of his soul every one knelt down, including
all the soldiers and even the wounded soldiers.
I forget if I have already written in a previous
letter the following true story. On March 13
fourth day of the Revolution and thirty-
seventh anniversary of the Emperor's murder
a requiem was being sung at one of the Petro-
grad churches. A soldier called out, " Don't
you know there is a Revolution, and nobody
prays for dead Emperors ? " The priest turned
round and said, " In Heaven there is no revo-
lution," and continued the service.
There is an excellent French daily newspaper
called UEntente, which gives all the news and
warmly supports the Allies.
On my way back from Embassy Bacher thanked Wednesday,
me for arranging interview, and told me how Au S* 2 9-
much impressed he was with His Excellency's
kindness and perspicuity.
The Empress Marie's health has lately been Saturday,
giving anxiety the result of all the trials she Sept< I '
has undergone. She has to keep quiet and is
not allowed to leave her room. She has now
been told about the departure of her son and his
family for Tobolsk, and is naturally much upset.
Kerenski has telegraphed to get news of her for the
Embassy, as the newspapers give alarming reports.
200 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 We are all very worried again. The Govern-
ment, in its fear of the Soviet, still hesitates
to give Kornilov the necessary powers to ensure
discipline in the Army. The burning of Kasan
was done by soldiers supplied with drink by
German agents. The same thing could just as
well happen here any day la Jacquerie, which
for some time I have feared. I hope to be able
to leave in ten days, but between now and then
much may happen.
Sunday, Dined with friends in a private room at Felicien's,
a restaurant on the Islands, on the edge of the
water, in front of the Empress Marie's former
palace whose park is now planted with potatoes
and more beautifully situated than any other
restaurant in Europe. Marvellous evening the
sun set in glory with aeroplanes quivering against
the golden glow. A few boats gliding by and
occasional tsigane songs sung. We left in absolute
Friday, The Grand Dukes Michael and Paul, with
" their respective families, have both been placed
under arrest in their own homes. Rumour declares
that this is due to their wives' irresponsible
When the Imperial exiles were leaving for
Siberia, some one in the hearing of the little
Tzesarevich remarked : " What a beautiful auto-
mobile Kerenski has got ! " The boy said, " Why,
it is one of papa's ! "
I have means of knowing that we are on the
1 eve of great events, but we shall have to wade
KORNILOV AND KERENSKI 201
in blood before the liberation of Russia is / 1917
At Raoult, the wine-merchant's, I saw a militia- Saturday,
man make a scene with a soldier who had a Sept> 8 - D -
permit for wine. He was a Bolshevik pretending
to be a police-agent, in order to confiscate the
wine for his own benefit, but the soldier got
Due de Luynes arrived from Rumania and Sunday,
left at night for Europe. Bacher, of the Entente, Sept 9 ' D '
came to say that the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Terestchenko, while en route for Stavka to nego-
tiate with Kornilov, had been stopped by telegram
from Kerenski. Bacher did not yet know the
reason. I telephoned this at once to the Embassy.
In the evening, about 7, Bacher telephoned
me that grave events were happening ; he would
give me particulars later. I conveyed this also
to Lady Georgina, who was waiting for His
Excellency's return. He had been telephoned for
in the afternoon by the Foreign Office, where he
went on his return. Bacher arrived just after
nine o'clock and told me the whole story that
Terestchenko had been recalled by Kerenski be-
cause Kornilov had sent an ultimatum to the Pro-
visional Government and had arrested Filinenkov
at Stavka. On that, Kerenski summarily dismissed
Kornilov from the High Command, but the latter
refused point-blank to give it up, and was about to
march on Petrograd with his Cossacks.
At Madame Polovtsov's, where I went at ten
o'clock, all this was confirmed. It was already
202 RUSSIAN DIARY
long past midnight when I got back, and I
received another message from Bacher, who turned
up at three o'clock in the morning with the news
that there had been a slight detente, but that,
all the same, Kornilov with his Cossacks would
certainly come to Petrograd.
Monday, No bread since Friday. Did not see Bacher
all day. He came at two o'clock next morning ;
the news he brought then was all good. The
Ismailovski Guards Regiment had gone over to
Kornilov, who had already 70,000 troops with
Tuesday, Bread only one slice ! Fete-day, but very
few people at the Kasan Sobor (cathedral in the
Nevski) sure sign of the general unrest. Myriads
of candles burning before the Kasan icon. In
the afternoon to the church of the Ismailovski
Barracks and saw four lorries delivering cart-
ridges at the barracks. Some officers told me
they had met the Grand Duke Michael in a
guarded car. He had been brought up from
Gatchina to the Etat-Major. My windows open
all day, in order to hear the first signs of the
Cossacks' arrival. As the afternoon advanced
and I heard no firing, my heart sank, with a
presentiment that the coup d'etat had failed.
Left at 5 on pressing invitation to dine j at
Tsarskoe Selo with the Grand Duke Boris, whom
I found sitting in a chair looking the picture
of misery the first time he has been really de-
pressed since the abdication. On the way down,
troops all along the track. The private line of
FAILURE OF KORNILOV 203
the Emperor, till now untouched, blown up. It 1917
connected the main lines. Before going to dinner
drove to Pavlovsk in hopes of getting in touch
with Kornilov's advance-guard, who were occu-
pying the woods. The Government troops would
not allow me to pas. The telephone to Petrograd
These last few days have seemed like a life- Wednesday,
time. Yesterday I went through more conflicting Sept< I2 ' '
emotions than at any time since the murder
of the " Unmentionable." The announcement of
Kornilov's submission, though published by all
the newspapers, comes only from the Provisional
Government. Several members of a French Mis-
sion, whom I met in the hall of the hotel, credited
this news. They all thought it was a tragedy.
For my part, I am still not quite sure ; it re-
quires time to verify Provisional Government
" news." Meanwhile there is nothing heard from
Ill all to-day from overstrung nerves after Thursday,
the intense excitement of yesterday. People of pt ' I3 '
all classes profoundly disappointed at the tragedy
of Kornilov's miscalculation. On Kornilov's ap-
proach sixty thousand workmen were armed by
the Provisional Government. They keep their arms,
so we are completely in their power. Saint-
Sauveur told me a regiment at Viborg had killed
its officers. At 6.30, as I had shown no sign
of life all day, Lady Georgina telephoned to ask
if I had any news.
It is all over ! Kornilov has failed. How
204 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 it happened we don't know yet, but to-day he
is to be brought to Petrograd under arrest. If
he had succeeded as he ought to have done,
once he had embarked on so important an under-
taking we should have had order restored.
At noon at the Embassy saw Captain Rowland
Smith, whose judgment is invariably right. Fore-
seeing the failure of Kornilov, he explained his
reasons to me two days before, when Kornilov's
success was still in the balance. He does not
think there was any treachery, because of the
fear inspired in Petrograd by the expectation
of Kornilov's arrival.
To give you an idea of this dread of Kornilov's
impending arrival : During Monday and Tuesday
the deserters, who for months had filled the
streets and crammed the trams, all vanished.
The Grand Duke Andre's palace had been com-
mandeered by the Provisional Government for
Tchernov, the Minister of Agriculture a German
Jew whose real name is Liebermann. At 3 a.m.
on Tuesday morning with automobiles waiting
since midnight he and his wife and beastly
ill-mannered children and household, anticipating
Kornilov's entry into Petrograd, hastily cleared
out, and it was only after midday that they
sneaked back in bits to reoccupy the palace.
If only Kornilov had arrived, Petrograd was
his for sure. History repeats itself 18 Fructidor I
From Tobolsk one hears that all the peasants
from miles around several hundred thousand,
without exaggeration led by a holy man, kneel
GRAND DUKES UNDER ARREST 205
outside the palace at Tobolsk and pray for the 1917
Emperor. The soldiers cannot drive them away.
They have proclaimed him " Emperor of Siberia."
This item of news, as might be guessed, is not
allowed to be published in the newspapers !
The arrested Grand Dukes and their families
are all in Petrograd to-day, lodged in the Home
Office. Thanks to those two silly women, prob-
ably all the Grand Dukes will go to Siberia ! My
Grand Duchess is quietly living in the Caucasus,
and if she is sent to Siberia I fear much for her
health. She lives her own quiet life, et elle ne se
mele de rien. The wedding of the little Grand
Duchess Marie II, which was to have taken place
on Sunday, was fixed for yesterday ; but owing
to absence of witnesses, and other reasons, it has
again been put off. She is living at Pavlovsk with
her grandmother, Olga, Queen of the Hellenes.
She is marrying a young man of highest character
a few months younger than herself, Prince Alex-
ander Putiatin. I feel sure they will be quite
As the Kornilov attempt to bring order has
failed, I will tell you what I foresee now, for
the cards are shuffled again. Kerenski is already
in the hands of the Soviet. The Soviet now
have virtually full power, and the Bolsheviki
will become more daring and try to turn out the
Government ; then would come anarchy, with
70,000 workmen fully armed. With the Bolsheviki
are all the criminal classes. The failure of Kor-
nilov has completely knocked me over, and
206 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 yesterday I could not walk. I still foresee an
ocean of blood before order comes.
Later, same Went for a walk and met the Grand Duchess
Marie II with her fiance. She tells me the wed-
ding is postponed in the hopes of her father
the Grand Duke Paul's relief from arrest, of which
she thinks there is a chance, as there was nothing
against him personally.
Friday, In the evening learnt from Lady Georgina
that the Ambassador was ill in bed with fever.
In the middle of the night I was called to the
telephone and told that Kerenski had resigned,
that Tchernov and Skobolev were to form a
Ministry supreme authority thus passing into
the hands of the Soviet. Learnt later that at
three o'clock in the morning the Soviet members
of the Ministry left en masse for the Smolny
Institute, leaving Kerenski, with four other
Ministers, again in power after an all-night sitting
till 7. How long he can retain it remains to
be seen. An undiluted Soviet Government would
mean massacres and a separate peace with Ger-
Saturday, No news all day. Everything quite quiet
much too quiet, in fact. Late at night came
the statement that the Soviet had given the
Provisional Government ten days' respite from
interference ; that Terestchenko had been to see
the British Ambassador before noon ; and that
in the afternoon the Allied Ambassadors had
assembled at the British Embassy and been
admitted to His Excellency's bedroom, where
REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED 207
they stayed nearly two hours. Happily he is 1917
better to-night. At seven o'clock I felt more
reassured on the situation and at eleven o'clock
still more so.
Lovely autumn weather. Gordon Bennett wired Sunday,
me to interview Kerenski for a hundred-word Sept * l6 ' D '
message to New York Herald, on situation. Wrote
about this to Terestchenko.*
My letter had hardly left on Saturday, Sep- Monday,
tember 15, when the news came in that Kerenski Sept I7 ' L '
remains in power and the Soviet leaves him in
peace for ten days. This news was very re-
assuring after the fear of Skobolev and Tchernov's
being in power, as they were, for about three
hours that night.
On Saturday at midday the Provisional Govern-
ment sent guards for the English Embassy, but
by the evening the situation had calmed and
yesterday the Republic was announced. Given
that Kornilov is beaten, the strengthening of
the Provisional Government is all that one can
In the meantime the news from different towns
is most disquieting. Twenty-six generals and
officers were massacred at Viborg. An English
lady saw it all. A poor officer who had been
thrown into the river swam about for nearly
an hour, pelted by the soldiers with logs of wood.
One general insisted on jumping off the bridge,
instead of being thrown ! This has been followed
by a massacre of officers at Dvinsk. A Prince
* I left before this was arranged.
208 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 Viazemski has been murdered by his peasants
his eyes first put out and his sufferings prolonged
several hours. His young wife was in the house
and had to witness it all.
To-night the priest leaves for Helsingfors to
baptize the Grand Duke KyrilFs baby Vladimir.
The Grand Duke Boris is godfather, but has been
advised by the Government not to go there.
If the Soviet gets the upper hand, the Emperor
may be tried, and all the Imperial family will
run great risks, and peace with Germany will be
made in forty-eight hours. So you will realise
what my fear was on Saturday, as long as I was
under the impression of the Soviet's being in
power. No respectable person's life would be
worth a couple of sous.
Last night I dined at the Embassy. The
Ambassador still in bed with fever. Lady Barclay
(wife of our Minister at Jassy) and General Sir
Charles Barter from Stavka dined. He had seen
Kerenski during the day, if not exactly to in-
tercede for Kornilov, at least to explain the actual
situation to him. There is still a mystery about
the failure, but there is no doubt that Kerenski
was in the complot with Kornilov, and that
through Lvov's treachery or madness Kerenski
left Kornilov in the lurch.*
Sept. 20. L. I have just received a letter from the Grand
* Lvov cousin of the former President of the Council
was sent from Moscow by Kerenski to see how the land lay
at Moghilev and report to him. Apparently he was taken
into Kornilov's confidence, and is said to have given the
General away to Kerenski possibly in a fit of insanity.
PETROGRAD WITHOUT BREAD 209
Duchess from Kislovodsk, telling me that the 1917
night before September 13-14 she wrote that
the Committee of Workmen and Soldiers came
to her house at 2.30 a.m. and stayed till 6, opening,
searching, and turning everything topsy-turvy. I
have written at once to Terestchenko to apprise
him of the fact. As we are in a Republic, the
Grand Duchess has as much right to be protected
as he himself, or the man who cleans my boots.
The little Grand Duchess Marie was at last
married yesterday afternoon at Pavlovsk.
I have no news from the Crimea, but an English-
man who had proposed himself to stay there
with friends received a letter saying he had much
better not come.
At the Embassy last night found the Ambassador Sept. 21.
better ; he has been out. We are still being
threatened for next Tuesday or Wednesday with
a demonstration by the Bolsheviki. This, though
it has been so constantly promised and so much
talked about, may end only in words. Anyhow,
the ten days' grace the Soviet have allowed the
Provisional Government is over on Tuesday.
No bread yesterday or to-day. To Embassy Monday,
to see the Naval Attache, Commander Grenfell, Se P t - 2 4-. > -
to thank him for his kindly assistance during
my stay. Dined at Donon's. The Preobrajenski
Guards, on their own, held up the restaurant
and searched for wine, and took away everything
they thought fit, including my dinner !
Yesterday to Tsarskoe Selo to wish the Grand Wednesday,
Duke Boris "Good-bye and Good Luck." He Sept - 26 ' jD '
210 RUSSIAN DIARY
1917 ! was very sad, and said, " You are my last link
with civilisation." On my return, went to the
Embassy to thank His Excellency and Lady
Georgina for their infinite kindness to me during
my sojourn in Russia.
This morning left Petrograd at 7.30 for England.
Sunday* , ABERDEEN. Landed at Q a.m. ; delighted to
Oct. 6. D. \ v
see policemen again.
PETITION TO THE EMPEROR ON BEHALF
OF THE GRAND DUKE DMITRI PAVLO-
VICH, AND THE EMPEROR'S REPLY
YOUR MAJESTY, We all, whose names you will
find at the end of this letter, implore you to recon-
sider your harsh decision concerning the fate of
the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich.
We know that he is ill and quite unnerved by
all he has gone through. You, who were his
Guardian and his Supreme Protector in infancy
and boyhood, well know how deeply he loved You
and Our Country.
Most heartily do we implore Your Majesty, in
consideration of his weak health and his youth,
to allow the Grand Duke to go and live on his
own estates, either at Oncova or at Illinskoe.
Your Majesty must know the very hard condi-
tions under which our troops have to live in Persia
without shelter and in constant peril to health and
To have to live there would be for the Grand
Duke almost certain death, and in the heart of
Your Majesty surely a feeling of pity will be
214 RUSSIAN DIARY
awakened towards this young man who from child-
hood had the joy of living in your house, and
whom you loved and to whom you used to be like
May God inspire you and guide you to turn
wrath into mercy !
Your Majesty's most loving and devoted,
OLGA, Queen of Greece ;
MARIE, Grand Duchess Vladimir ;
KYRILL, VICTORIA, BORIS, ANDR
(her children) ;
PAUL (father) ;
MARIE (sister) ;
ELIZABETH, Grand Duchess Constantine ;
JOANNA, HLENE, GABRIEL,
CONSTANTINE, IGOR (her children) ;
NICOLAI MICHAILOVICH ;
Nobody has the right to kill on his own private
judgment. I know that there are many others besides
Dmitri Pavlovich whose consciences give them no
rest, because they are compromised. I am astonished
that you should have applied to me. NICOLAI.*
* The petition was endorsed by the Emperor in these
MEMORANDUM PRIVATELY CIRCULATED
ON DECEMBER 31, 1916
The following narrative represents what was gene-
rally believed, up to the time of the revolution,
about the death of Rasputin
GREGORY RASPUTIN was shot in a room in the
basement of the palace of Prince Yusupov on the
Moika Canal shortly after 7 o'clock on the morning
of December 30, 1917 (N.S.). The Grand Duke
Dmitri Pavlovich, Princes Feodor and Nikita
Alexandrovich, and the young Prince Felix Yusupov
were in the palace, and were all privy to the shoot-
ing. Conjointly with other young Princes of the
Blood, including the sons of the late Grand Duke
Constantine, they had decided some time previously
to " remove " Rasputin, because they regarded
him as the cause of a dangerous scandal affecting
the interests of the Dynasty and the Empire. So
many persons being involved in the plot, rumours
were bound to leak out, and as far back as Monday
last it was reported that Rasputin's death might
be expected at any time. It was even understood
that one of the sons of the Grand Duke Constantine
had been selected by lot to perform the deed, but
216 RUSSIAN DIARY
that he had hesitated and the execution been
Prince Yusupov and the young Princes, his
brothers-in-law, together with the other Imperial
Princes, used to assemble at night at the Yusupov
Palace, and to these gatherings they frequently
invited Rasputin, their object being to extract from
him as much information as possible as to the
doings of august personages. While under the
influence of liquor, Rasputin would give away, not
only his own secrets, but also those of the various
Ministerial and other political changes that have
so much incensed Russian public opinion within
recent months notably the dismissal of Sazonov,
the appointment of Stunner, and the successive
and persistent failures to introduce a stable Ministry
and internal reforms.
It was at these nocturnal meetings that the idea
of removing Rasputin assumed concrete form.
When the Duma was suddenly prorogued on
December 29, the princely conspirators decided
that further delay would be dangerous. The
disclosures made by Rasputin himself left no
doubts in the minds of his hosts that he had also
played some part in the prorogation of the Duma.
This only strengthened their resolve to do away
with him at once. They accordingly invited him
to meet them as usual, and, in order to allay his
possible suspicions, some of Rasputin's lady friends
were included in the invitation.
From the reports of the police investigations
cited below, and from other information obtained
APPENDIX II 217
by reporters on the staff of the Novoe Vremya^ it
would appear that about 2.30 at night Rasputin
was told that he would have to die, and he was
given the option of committing suicide or being
killed. A revolver was placed in his hand, but
he flatly declined to commit suicide and discharged
the weapon somewhere in the direction of the
Grand Duke Dmitri. The bullet smashed a pane
of glass, and the sound attracted the attention of
the police outside. Subsequently he was killed
and his body removed to a place unknown, presum-
ably Tsarskoe Selo.
THE POLICE REPORT OF DECEMBER 30, 1916
The following is a literal translation of the Official
Report handed in by the Police
TO-DAY at about 2.30 in the morning, the police-
man who stands on guard at the house of the
Home Office situated on the Morskaia heard a
detonation from the palace of Prince Yusupov
situated on the opposite side of the Moika. As
this post is a special one and the policeman on
duty is forbidden to leave it, he went into the
Home Office premises and communicated by tele-
phone with the police sergeant on duty at the
adjoining station. Then the news of the shooting
was passed on to the Kasan police district in
which the palace is situated. The chief police
officer, Colonel Rogov, with a detachment of men,
proceeded to the spot. Examination of the dvornik
on duty at the adjoining house elicited the fact
that the shot had been fired from the young
Prince's side of the palace. In order to ascertain
the causes of the shooting in the palace, the assistant
police officer, Captain Krylov, was ordered to enter
the building, and he was informed by the butler
that a reception was proceeding inside, and that
APPENDIX III 219
one of the guests, while practising at a target, had
missed his aim and fired into the window, in proof
whereof Captain Krylov was shown the broken
window on the ground floor overlooking the fore-
court of the adjoining house. The data obtained
through the investigations were communicated by
Colonel Rogov the same night to the Police Master
of the Second Division, Major-General Grigoriev,
and to M. Chaplygin, the official on duty at the
Scarcely had the police officers left the palace
when a motor-car drove up along the Moika Canal
quay and stopped near a small foot-bridge almost
facing the palace. Four men were seen to alight
from the car. The moment they had left it the
chauffeur extinguished the lights, and, putting on
full speed, made off along the canal. This scene
was witnessed by a detective belonging to the
Okhrana, named Tihomirov, who had been detailed
by the Police Department to look after Rasputin.
Tihomirov presuming that the men who entered
the palace, not by the main entrance, but from a
door situated on the side of the palace and open-
ing into the forecourt of the adjoining house,
were robbers hurried across the canal to the
police station, and thence telephoned a report of
what he had observed to the Chief of the Secret
Colonel Rogov had no sooner returned to his
home than he was notified from the Okhrana that
information had been received relative to an attack
on the palace of Prince Yusupov. A number of
220 RUSSIAN DIARY
police officers were again dispatched there. The
butler came out and explained to them that some
very highly placed guests had just arrived from
the environs of Petrograd. A report about this
was made during the course of the night to the
Prefect, General Balk.
Shortly after 6 a.m., at the police station beside
the palace, while the police officers who had come
off duty were being questioned in the ordinary
course as to the events of the night, the sound of
several police whistles was heard from the street.
This drew the constables and police sergeants to
the windows, whence they perceived that from
the main entrance of the Prince's palace two women
were being helped out, and that they were offering
resistance to their ejection and refusing to enter
a motor-car, and doing their best to force a way
back into the palace. In response to their pro-
testations the detectives stationed along the canal
had sounded the alarm. By the time the police
rushed out of the police station the motor-car
was already whirling off along the quay. Hasten-
ing out after his men, the police inspector, Colonel
Borozdin, hailed the motor-car belonging to the
Secret Police, which was permanently on duty at
the Home Office building, and started off in pursuit.
At the same time his men were hurried to the
palace. It was impossible to overtake the fugitive
car on account of its superior speed ; moreover,
it carried neither number nor lights. To the
police who came to inquire at the palace the
explanation was offered that two ladies belonging
APPENDIX III 221
to the demi-monde had been misconducting them-
selves and been invited to leave the palace.
On the nocturnal adventures on the Moika a
joint personal report was made to the Prefect in
the morning by Colonel Rogov and Colonel Boroz-
din. The whole affair seemed to be at an end
when suddenly from the forecourt alongside the
palace four shots were heard in rapid succession.
Once more the alarm was sounded in both police
stations, and again detachments of police appeared
at the palace. This time an official wearing
colonel's uniform came out to them and announced
categorically that within the Prince's palace there
was present a Grand Duke, and that H.I.H. would
make in person to the proper quarters any explana-
tions that might be necessary. After such a
declaration, the police inspector, unable to obtain
any enlightenment whatsoever, returned to his
official duties, leaving a patrol on the opposite
side of the Moika by way of precaution. About
an hour had passed when suddenly from the direc-
tion of the Blue Bridge a motor-car drove up to
the palace. The servants, assisted by the chauf-
feur, in the presence of an officer wearing a long
fur cloak, carried out what looked like a human
body and placed it in the car. The chauffeur
jumped in, and, putting on full speed, made off
along the canal side and promptly disappeared.
Almost at the same time General Grigoriev was
informed from the Prefecture that Rasputin had
been killed in the Yusupov Palace.
The police officials on arriving at the palace
222 RUSSIAN DIARY
were met this time by Prince Felix Yusupov him-
self, who told them that it would be necessary to
draw up a report as to the killing of Rasputin.
At first this announcement was not accepted
seriously in view of all the strange occurrences of
the night. But the police officials were invited to
come into the dining-room in the basement, and
were there shown the spot where the body had
been lying. They saw on the floor a pool of con-
gealed blood, and traces of blood were also visible
on the snow in the forecourt of the adjoining
house. In answer to the question where the body
was, the Prince replied that the body was where
it should be, declining to give any further explana-
Soon afterwards the palace was visited by the
Director of the Police Department, the Chief of
the Secret Police, and the whole of the Generals
of Gendarmerie. The police patrols were then
relegated to their various stations, and at the
subsequent investigation sent over to the officials
of the Police Department. At 5 o'clock on the
following afternoon a secret telegram was sent to
every police station with a view to ascertaining
the itinerary of the motor-cars which had come
up to the Prince's palace during the night, and
of the one which had removed Rasputin's body in
the morning. At the same time numerous police
patrols were dispatched to the islands in the Neva
and to the suburban districts,
Abdication of the Emperor, 124
Alexander I, 88
Alexander II, 52, 96, 198
Alexander III, 169, 185
Alexander Michailovich, 31, 59, 93
Andr6 Vladimirovich, 29, 39, 61,
Bariatinski, 70, 162, 1 66
Bark, 69, 98
Belosselski, 12, 58, 60, 74, 98,
Bennett, 119, 127
"Blue Bird" dance, 31
Bolsheviks, I, 176-7, 190, 205
Boris Vladimirovich, 18, 27, 29,
32, 45, 58, 59, 7, 77' 9<>, 98,
101, 104, 168, 202, 209
Brassov, 68, 136
Brooke, Lord, 99
Buchanan, 12, 17, 23, 44, 59, 62,
77, A 9i, 94, Il6 -7. 210, and
Buckingham Palace, 66
Catherine II, 2, 12, 14, 15
Chinese Palace, 24
Constitution, 4, 129, 143
Cossacks, 1 01-2, 106, 173, 177,
Covent Garden, 55
Cross Day, Holy, 26, 69
DERFELDEN, 19, 91, 106
Dmitri Pavlovich, 7, 23, 31, 32,
33, 58, 73, 74, 7&-78, 83-89,
92-3* 95, 131, 156, 169, 195;
see Appendix I, 213
Duma, 2, 52, 91, 112, 115, 120
Duncannon, Lord, 99
Dvinsk, 34, 207
Elizabeth, Empress, 24, 127
Emperor Nicolas II, 5, 24, 29,
30, 36, 39, 45-51, 52, 56, 61,
83, 88, 91, 92, 94-5, 98, in.
115-6, 121-2, 124-7, I 3 J 33~
4, 136, 144-6, 179, 181, 184-7,
Empress Alexandra, 5, 27, 28,
30, 35, 52, 73, 74, 78, 83, 88,
91, 94, 118, 122, 128-9, 134-8.
144, 186, 188
England hated, 151
FEODOROVSKI Sobor, 25, 27, 29,
Fire, A, 57, 61 .
Freedericksz, no, 114, 119, 122
French Embassy, 45, 114, 134
GEORGE V, King, 4, 48, 50, 189
German atrocities, 163
German influence, 2
German prisoners, treatment of,
Good Friday, 57
Gorchakov, 37, 45, 95, 117
Greece, Queen of, 57
Grey, Lady S., 128
HANBURY- WILLIAMS, 16, 29, 62,
75. 98, 136
Harris, Mrs. Leverton, 69
ILCHESTER, Lord, 184
JEWISH revolutionists, 120, 137,
John of Cronstadt, 185
KARSAVINA, 21, 51, 55
Kerenski, 6, 120, 134, 150, 181,
186-7, l8 9
Kislovodsk, 101, 149, 152-4,
Kitchener, 29, 49, 62, 63, 67, 131
Knorring, 37, 100, 150
Knox, 112, 184
Kokovtsov, 27, 125
Kornilov, 133, 138, 192
Kyrill Vladimirovich, 29, 44, 58,
90, 97, 115, 135
Lukomski, 24, 33, 58
Luynes, Due de, 68, 201
Lvov, 4, 6
Marie, Empress, 22, 88, 122, 131,
158, 160-1, 164-5, 190, 199
Marie Pavlovna ; see Vladimir,
Marie Pavlovna II, Grand
Massacres by Revolutionists, 207
Michail Alexandrovich, 6, 116,
121, 129, 186-7, 200
Midnight Sun, 71
Milyukov, 123, 151
Nicolai Michailovich, 95, 97,
Nicolai Nicolaievich, 19, 22, 30,
138-9, 141, 161, 190
Nijni Novgorod, 65, 66
Nostitz, 67, 98
Obolenski, 32, 151, 159
Olga, Grand Duchess, 93
Olive, 15, 35, 74
Orlov, 12, 15, 23, 24, 26, 30, 70,
PAGET, 52, 61
Palei, 91, 126-7
Paul, Emperor, 20, 76, 88, 108
Paul, Grand Duke, 31, 68, 88, 90,
156, 170, 200
Peasant cruelty, 208
Pembroke, Earl of, 52
Peter the Great, 68, 74, 88
Peterhof, 12, 60
Pitirim, 90, 125
Pokrovski, 97, 124
Police Report of Rasputin's end,
Polovtsov, n, 19, 57, 70, 123, 196
Protopopov, 90, H2
Provisional Government, 132,
143, 149, 155
Putiatin, 26, 28, 89, 126
RADZIWILL, 12, 91, 98-9, 105,
107, 123, 132, 140
Rasputin, 3, 73-75. 79, 83-87,
90, 92, 94, 97-8 136-7, 159,
168 ; see Appendices, 215-222
Red Flag, 116, 121
Republic, a, 120, 129
Revolution, scenes of, 102, no,
129, 146, 171
Rodzianko, 114, 115
Rumania, Queen of, 73
Russian prisoners roasted alive,
SAVINSKI, 74, 94, 117
Sazonov, 17, 30, 37, 44, 97-8,
Schuvalov, 16, 117, 162, 166
Serge, Grand Duchess, 91
Sergei Michailovich, 58, 98
Skirmunt, 119, 123
Smith, Rowland, 204
Soup-kitchen blessed, 24
Soviet, 6, 135, 152, 196, 205
Stieglitz, 1 8
Summer, Russian, 20
TATISTCHEV, 114, 117
Terestchenko, 53, 101, 108, 206
Torneo, 43, 71
Trains for soldiers, 26
Tsarskoe, 26, 143-4, and passim
Tzesarevich, 4, 29, 31, 36, 52,
93, 100, 116, 121, 133, 140,
144, 186, 200
VALENTINE, 99, 135
Viborg massacre, 207
Victoria, Grand Duchess, 89,
Vladimir, Grand Duchess, n, 12,
21, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 44, 58, 60,
61, 69, 96, loo, 139, 152-4,
158, 182-4, 2 5
Vladimir, Grand Duke, 51
228 RUSSIAN DIARY
WATERS, 69, 70 YALTA, 159-166
Wilson. 99 Yusupov, 14, 74, 76, 83-88, 90,
93, 141. J 59, 163
XBNIA, Grand Duchess, 123,
164 ZAMOYSKI, 58
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